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Political budget cycles and the organization of political parties

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  • Hanusch, Marek
  • Keefer, Philip

Abstract

This paper introduces a new explanation for political budget cycles: politicians have stronger incentives to increase spending around elections in the presence of younger political parties. Previous research has shown that political budget cycles are larger when voters are uninformed about politician characteristics and when politicians are less credible. The effects of party age can be traced to organizational differences between younger and older parties that also affect voter information and politician credibility. Parties organized around particular individuals, rather than around policy labels or a party machine, are less likely to survive the departure of party leaders, to adopt organizational attributes that promote voter information and political credibility, and to limit political budget cycles. Previous research has also shown larger political budget cycles in younger democracies. Evidence presented here indicates that party age accounts for this effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6654.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6654

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Keywords: Civic Participation and Corporate Governance; Politics and Government; Political Systems and Analysis; Public Sector Expenditure Policy; Consumption;

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  1. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  3. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
  5. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2007. "Why is Economic Policy Different in New Democracies? Affecting Attitudes About Democracy," NBER Working Papers 13457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  7. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  8. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  9. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
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