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Habit formation, strategic extremism and debt policy

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Author Info

  • Egil Matsen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Øystein Thøgersen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and CESifo,)

Abstract

We suggest a probabilistic voting model where voters’ preferences for alternative public goods display habit formation. Current policies determine habit levels and in turn the future preferences of the voters. This allows the incumbent to act strategically in order to influence the probability of re-election. Comparing to a benchmark case of a certain re-election, we demonstrate that the incumbent’s optimal policy features both a more polarized allocation between the alternative public goods and a debt bias.

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File URL: http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iso/WP/2007/7habit_debt_strategic%20111207.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 9007.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 11 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:9007

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Keywords: Budget deficits; voting; extremism; habit formation;

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References

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  1. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2001. "An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 570-583, June.
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  6. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
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  9. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Georgellis, Yannis & Tsitsianis, Nicholas & Yin, Ya Ping, 2009. "Income and happiness across Europe: Do reference values matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 42-51, February.
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  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2044, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  17. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  18. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
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  20. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Pitsoulis, Athanassios & Siebel, Jens Peter, 2009. "Zur politischen Ökonomie von Defiziten und Kapitalsteuerwettbewerb," Discourses in Social Market Economy 2009-13, OrdnungsPolitisches Portal (OPO).

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