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Political Economy of Fiscal Institutions

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  • Hagen, Jürgen von

Abstract

We discuss two essential problems of the political economy of public finances: The principal agent problem between voters and elected politicians and the common pool problem arising from the fact that money drawn from a general tax fund is used to pay for policies targeting more or less narrow groups in society. Three institutional mechanisms exist to deal with these problems, ex-ante rules controlling the behavior of elected policy makers, electoral rules creating accountability of and competition among policy makers, and budgeting processes internalizing the common pool externality. We review recent theoretical and empirical research and discuss its implications for research and institutional design.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 149.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:149

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Keywords: electoral systems; fiscal rules; budgeting processes;

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  1. Massimo Bordignon, 2000. "Problems of Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Relationships: The Case of Italy," Research Department Publications 3099, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  3. von Hagen,Juergen, . "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Discussion Paper Serie B 155, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  5. Eichengreen, Barry & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1995. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Union: Federalism, Fiscal Restrictions and the No-Bailout Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. von Hagen, Jurgen & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Federalism, Fiscal Restraints, and European Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 134-38, May.
  8. Fratianni, Michele & von Hagen, Jürgen & Waller, Christopher, 1992. "From EMS to EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 618, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hallerberg, Mark, 2000. "The importance of domestic political institutions: Why and how Belgium and Italy qualified for EMU," ZEI Working Papers B 10-2000, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  10. Guido Tabellini, . "Constitutional determinants of government spending," Working Papers 162, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. repec:fth:eeccco:96 is not listed on IDEAS
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