Why are representative democracies fiscally irresponsible?
AbstractWe develop a model of a representative democracy in which a legislature makes collective decisions about local public goods expenditures and how they are financed. In our model of the political process legislators defer to spending requests of individual representatives, particularly committee chairmen, who tend to promote spending requests that benefit their own districts. Because legislators do not fully internalize the tax consequences of their individual spending proposals, there is a free rider problem, and as a result spending is excessively high. This leads legislators to prefer a higher level of debt to restrain excessive future spending.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 163.
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
- V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "A contribution to the theory of pork barrel spending," Staff Report 156, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Woo, Jaejoon, 2005. "Social polarization, fiscal instability and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1451-1477, August.
- Niepelt, Dirk, 2007.
"Starving the beast? Intra-generational conflict and balanced budget rules,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-159, January.
- Dirk Niepelt, 2005. "Starving the Beast? Intra-Generational Conflict and Balanced Budget Rules," Working Papers 05.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
- Baqir, Reza, 1999. "Districts, spillovers, and government overspending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2192, The World Bank.
- Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2006.
"A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt,"
NBER Working Papers
12100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-36, March.
- Marco Battaglini & Steve Coate, 2006. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001094, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," Discussion Papers 1441, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Stephen Coate & Marco Battaglini, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," 2007 Meeting Papers 573, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2006. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 321307000000000026, www.najecon.org.
- Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," Working Papers 07-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- Marcelo Bianconi, 1999.
"The Effects of Alternative Fiscal Policies on the Intertemporal Government Budget Constraint,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
9906, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Bianconi, Marcelo, 2000. "The effects of alternative fiscal policies on the intertemporal government budget constraint," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 31-52, February.
- Takero Doi & Toshihiro Ihori & Hiroki Kondo, 2002. "Government Deficits, Political Inefficiency, and Fiscal Reconstruction in Japan," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 3(1), pages 169-183, May.
- Toshihiro Ihori & Jun-Ichi Itaya, 2004. "Fiscal Reconstruction and Local Government Financing," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 55-67, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janelle Ruswick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.