Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union
AbstractA rough consensus has emerged that states with proportional representation systems are" likely to run larger deficits than plurality states. We argue that electoral institutions matter because" they restrict the type of budgetary institution at the governmental phase which a state has at its" disposal. Cabinet members may willingly delegate authority to a finance minister who can monitor" spending ministers and punish those who defect' in a process we label delegation procedure is feasible in states where one-party governments are the norm. Such states usually have" plurality electoral systems. In multi-party governments, which are common in states with" proportional representation, the coalition members are not willing to delegate to one actor the ability" to monitor and punish the others. Negotiated targets in the form of fiscal contracts provide an" alternative in multi-party governments. Pooled time series regression results for the current" European Union states in the period 1981-94 support our contention that it is the presence or absence" of one of these budgetary institutions, rather than the plurality/proportional representation" dichotomy, which has the greatest impact on debt levels.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6341.
Date of creation: Dec 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance. Poterba, James M., and Jurgenvon Hagen, eds., Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999,pp. 209-232.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
- H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
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