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Checks and Balances on Political Budget Cycles: Cross-Country Evidence

  • Jorge M. Streb
  • Daniel Lema
  • Gustavo Torrens

Previous empirical work on political budget cycles (PBCs) implicitly assumes the executive has full discretion over fiscal policy. Instead, we ask what happens when legislative checks and balances limit executive discretion. We find that legislative checks and balances moderate PBCs in countries with high compliance with the law. More effective checks and balances help to explain why cycles are weaker in developed countries and in established democracies. When the discretional component of executive power is isolated, there are significant cycles in all democracies. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 426-447

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:62:y:2009:i:3:p:426-447
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  1. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2003. "Where Does the Political Budget Cycle Really Come From?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4049, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Economics Working Papers 0047, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  3. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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