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Rethinking public auditing institutions: Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities

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  • Mark Schelker

    ()
    (University of Fribourg, Switzerland; CREMA)

  • Reiner Eichenberger

    (University of Fribourg, Switzerland; CREMA)

Abstract

In the economic literature various political institutions designed to control the government have been analyzed. However, an important institution has been neglected so far: independent auditing institutions with an extended mandate to analyze the budget draft and individual policy proposals. We argue that auditors with an extended mandate improve transparency and provide essential information on the impact of policy proposals on common pool resources. This leads to less wasteful spending and a more efficient allocation of public resources. We empirically analyze the policy impact of local auditors with an extended audit mandate in Switzerland. Auditors, who can evaluate and criticize policy proposals ex ante to policy decisions, significantly reduce the general tax burden and public expenditures. We find similar results with different datasets. These results are robust to various changes in the econometric specification

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2008/3.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2009/3/doc2008-3

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Related research

Keywords: Auditor; audit court; special interests; political economics; public finance.;

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Cited by:
  1. Schelker, Mark & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2010. "Auditors and fiscal policy: Empirical evidence on a little big institution," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 357-380, December.

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