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Late Budgets

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Author Info

  • Asger L. Andersen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • David Dreyer Lassen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

The budget forms the legal basis of government spending. If a budget is not in place at the beginning of the fiscal year, planning as well as current spending are jeopardized and government shutdown may result. This paper develops a continuous-time war-of-attrition model of budgeting in a presidential style-democracy to explain the duration of budget negotiations. We build our model around budget baselines as reference points for loss averse negotiators. We derive three testable hypotheses: there are more late budgets, and they are more late, when fiscal circumstances change; when such changes are negative rather than positive; and when there is divided government. We test the hypotheses of the model using a unique data set of late budgets for US state governments, based on dates of budget approval collected from news reports and a survey of state budget o¢ cers for the period 1988-2007. For this period, we find 23 % of budgets to be late. The results provide strong support for the hypotheses of the model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2010-04.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:10-04

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Related research

Keywords: government budgeting; state government; presidential democracies; political economy; late budgets; fiscal stalemate; war of attrition;

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Cited by:
  1. Andersen, Asger Lau & Lassen, David Dreyer & Nielsen, Lasse Holbøll Westh, 2014. "The impact of late budgets on state government borrowing costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 27-35.
  2. Asger Lau Andersen & David Dreyer Lassen & Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen, 2010. "The Impact of Fiscal Governance on Bond Markets: Evidence from Late Budgets and State Government Borrowing Costs," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-11, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Andreas Bernecker, 2014. "Divided We Reform? Evidence from US Welfare Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4564, CESifo Group Munich.

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