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How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Adi Brender
  • Allan Drazen

Abstract

We test whether good economic conditions and expansionary fiscal policy help incumbents get reelected in a large panel of democracies. We find no evidence that deficits help reelection in any group of countries independent of income level, level of democracy, or government or electoral system. In developed countries and old democracies, deficits in election years or over the term of office reduce reelection probabilities. Higher growth rates over the term raise reelection probabilities only in developing countries and new democracies. Low inflation is rewarded by voters only in developed countries. These effects are both statistically significant and quite substantial quantitatively. (JEL D72, E62, H62, O47)

Suggested Citation

  • Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-2220, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:2203-20
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.2203
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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