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The Political Economy of the German Länder Deficits

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  • Jochimsen, Beate
  • Nuscheler, Robert

Abstract

We analyze the deficits of the German Länder for the period from 1960 to 2000 and test a number of hypotheses derived from the literature on the political economy of public expenditures and public deficits. Estimating a dynamic panel data model, we find evidence for political opportunism of the Rogoff/Sibert-type. German voters seem to favor fiscal discipline as debt issue is significantly lower in pre-election years. There is no evidence for partisan behavior. Party ideology thus plays a negligible role. As suggested by the theory, coalition governments issue more debt. This effect is, however, not statistically significant. If the probability of reelection is small, the incumbent government may find it beneficial to issue more debt. We consider four different approximations of the reelection probability but find evidence for none of them. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005/6.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20056

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Keywords: Public Debt; Political Economy; German Länder; Dynamic Panel Data Model;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2012. "Leaders’ Impact on Public Spending Priorities: The Case of the German Laender," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 480-511, November.
  2. Fay Dunkerley & Amihai Glazer & Stef Proost, 2010. "What Drives Gasoline Prices?," Working Papers 091005, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Public Expenditures on Education and Cultural Affairs in the West German States: Does Government Ideology Influence the Budget Composition?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 124-145, 02.
  4. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
  5. Ulrich Oberndorfer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Generationen- oder Parteienkonflikt? Eine empirische Analyse der deutschen Hochschulausgaben," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(2), pages 165-183, 03.
  6. Helge Berger & Anika Holler, 2007. "What Determines Fiscal Policy? Evidence from German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 2062, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Parties Matter in Allocating Expenditures: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 652, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Bönke, Timm & Jochimsen, Beate & Schröder, Carsten, 2011. "Fiscal equalization and regions' (un)willingness-to-tax: Evidence from Germany," Economics Working Papers 2011,06, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  9. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Coalition governments, cabinet size, and the common pool problem: Evidence from the German states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 356-376.
  10. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Steiner, Viktor, 2006. "Intergenerational Conflict, Partisan Politics, and Public Higher Education Spending: Evidence from the German States," IZA Discussion Papers 2417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ulrich Oberndorfer & Viktor Steiner, 2006. "Generationen- oder Parteienkonflikt?: Eine empirische Analyse der deutschen Hochschulausgaben," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 603, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Troeger, Vera, 2012. "De Facto Capital Mobility, Equality, and Tax Policy in Open Economies," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 84, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  13. Sabine Freye, 2009. "Zum Zusammenhang zwischen der Verschuldung der Bundesländer und ihren finanziellen Handlungsspielräumen," IWH Discussion Papers 12, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2012. "Do personal characteristics of finance ministers affect the development of public debt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Beate R. Jochimsen & Sebastian Thomasius, 2012. "The Perfect Finance Minister: Whom to Appoint as Finance Minister to Balance the Budget?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1188, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. Lars P. Feld, 2010. "Sinnhaftigkeit und Effektivität der deutschen Schuldenbremse," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(3), pages 226-245, 08.

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