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Why is Economic Policy Different in New Democracies? Affecting Attitudes About Democracy

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  • Adi Brender
  • Allan Drazen

Abstract

When democracy is new, it is often fragile and not fully consolidated. We investigate how the danger of a collapse of democracy may affect fiscal policy in new democracies in comparison to countries where democracy is older and often more established. We argue that the attitude of the citizenry towards democracy is important in preventing democratic collapse, and expenditures may therefore be used to convince them that "democracy works". We present a model focusing on the inference problem that citizens solve in forming their beliefs about the efficacy of democracy. Our approach differs from much of the literature that concentrates on policy directed towards anti-democratic elites, but our model can encompass that view and allows comparison of different apporoaches. We argue that the implications of the model are broadly consistent with the empirical patterns generally observed, including the existence of political budget cycles in new democracies not observed in established democracies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13457.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13457

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  1. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2012. "Inflation and economic growth in Latin America: Some panel time-series evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 333-340.
  2. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Promises, promises : vote-buying and the electoral mobilization strategies of non-credible politicians," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6653, The World Bank.
  3. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2009. "Consolidation of New Democracy, Mass Attitudes, and Clientelism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 304-09, May.
  4. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, 09.
  5. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Lying in Politics: Evidence from the US," Working Papers 22/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  6. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Political budget cycles and the organization of political parties," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6654, The World Bank.

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