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Fiscal conservatism in a new democracy: "Sophisticated" versus "naïve" voters

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  • Arvate, Paulo Roberto
  • Avelino, George
  • Tavares, José

Abstract

We use data from gubernatorial elections in Brazil to test the electoral reactions of "sophisticated" and "naïve" voters to fiscal surpluses. Our results complement Brender and Drazen [Brender, Adi, and Drazen, A., (2005b), "How do budget deficits and economic growth affect reelection prospects? Evidence from a large cross-section of countries", NBER Working Paper 11862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts]: we find no evidence of fiscal illusion while, in some cases, a fiscal surplus may actually increase the probability of reelection.

Suggested Citation

  • Arvate, Paulo Roberto & Avelino, George & Tavares, José, 2009. "Fiscal conservatism in a new democracy: "Sophisticated" versus "naïve" voters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 125-127, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:102:y:2009:i:2:p:125-127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    4. Sam Peltzman, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-361.
    5. Veiga, Linda G. & Veiga, Francisco Jose, 2007. "Does opportunism pay off?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 177-182, August.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
    7. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2005. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 11862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    2. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2017. "Housing booms and busts and local fiscal policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. repec:eee:ecolet:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:72-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Public investment and reelection prospects in developed countries," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 471-500, October.
    5. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:367-378 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Klein, Fabio Alvim & Sakurai, Sergio Naruhiko, 2015. "Term limits and political budget cycles at the local level: evidence from a young democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 21-36.
    7. Sjahrir, Bambang Suharnoko & Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Schulze, Günther G., 2013. "Political budget cycles in Indonesia at the district level," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 342-345.
    8. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2599 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität
      [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]
      ," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Paulo Arvate & Vladimir Ponczek, 2008. "Municipality secession, voter’s preference and persistence of power," Working Papers 08_07, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
    11. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    12. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    13. Velibor Mačkić & Petar Sorić & Ivana Lolić, 2017. "Competitiveness, consumer confidence and election outcomes," EFZG Working Papers Series 1704, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Andrea Passalacqua, 2015. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 21821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    16. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
    17. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2016. "Election cycles in natural resource rents: Empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 79-93.
    18. Beata Guziejewska, 2015. "Designing A Revenue Structure In Local Self-Government Entities In Poland: Taxes Versus Grants," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 10(3), pages 45-63, September.
    19. Fabio Alvim Klein & Sergio Naruhiko Sakurai, 2016. "Term Limits And Political Budget Cycles At The Local Level: Evidence From A Young Democracy," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42ndd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 052, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    20. Paulo Reis Mourao,Ph.D, 2011. "Sins of the elder: Fiscal illusion in democracies," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 196(1), pages 9-35, january.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Budget deficits Elections Political cycles Fiscal conservatism;

    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
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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