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Inequality, Political Systems and Public Spending

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  • Enrico Longoni

    ()

  • Filippo Gregorini

Abstract

Political regimes and institutions di®er across countries. Such char- acteristics in°uence public spending within each country. The aim of this paper is to check for the existence of a link between political institu- tions, income inequality and public spending. We develop an empirical investigation, based on panel data analysis, on the determinants of pub- lic spending focusing on political, economic, demographic and social variables in large sample of developed and developing countries from 1970 to 2005. In particular, we focus on the e®ects of electoral rules on government consumption ¯nding that in countries with proportional electoral rule an increase in the heterogeneity of the government in- creases government consumption, while in countries with majoriratian electoral rule, a shift from presidential to parliamentary system leads to an increase in government consumption. We ¯nd that the link between income distribution, measured by the Gini index, and public spending depends upon institutional characteristics. Moreover, we ¯nd empiri- cal support for the argument that government spending is a policy tool used by governments to insurance the domestic economy from external shocks stemming from international trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 159.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: Apr 2009
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:159

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  1. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
  3. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
  5. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems And Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657, May.
  6. Filippo Gregorini, 2007. "Political Geography and Income Inequalities," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq0746, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  7. Milanovic, Branko, 1999. "Do more unequal countries redistribute more? does the median voter hypothesis hold?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2264, The World Bank.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  9. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  11. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  13. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
  14. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  15. Filippo Gregorini, 2009. "Political Geography and Income Inequalities," Working Papers 152, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2009.
  16. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chang, Chun Ping & Berdiev, Aziz N., 2011. "The political economy of energy regulation in OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 816-825, September.
  2. Joan Esteban & Laura Mayoral, 2013. "A Politico-Economic Model of Public Expenditure and Income Taxation," Working Papers 743, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Adnan Efendić & Naida Trkic-Izmirlija, 2013. "Effects of the global economic crisis and public spending on income distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 108, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

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