IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Creative accounting and electoral motives: Evidence from OECD countries

Listed author(s):
  • Reischmann, Markus

Using an unbalanced panel of 27 OECD countries over the period 1970–2011, I examine whether electoral motives influenced creative accounting. Governments engage in “below-the-line” operations, such as transactions in financial assets, that do not show up in the deficit figures but give rise to changes in debt. I use the difference between the change in public debt and the deficit (stock-flow adjustment) to measure creative accounting. The results suggest that governments strategically engaged in creative accounting before regular elections so as to sugarcoat the budget balance. I also provide an overview of government interventions that gave rise to large stock-flow adjustments.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596715000591
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2016)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 243-257

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:2:p:243-257
DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.07.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
  2. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-134, June.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 155-179, January.
  4. William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, 04.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
  6. Belke, Ansgar & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Does government ideology matter in monetary policy? A panel data analysis for OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1126-1139.
  7. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Good, bad or ugly? On the effects of fiscal rules with creative accounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 377-394, January.
  8. Brech, Viktor & Potrafke, Niklas, 2014. "Donor ideology and types of foreign aid," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 61-75.
  9. Marco Buti & João Nogueira Martins & Alessandro Turrini, 2007. "From Deficits to Debt and Back: Political Incentives under Numerical Fiscal Rules," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(1), pages 115-152, March.
  10. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 797-810, December.
  11. von Hagen, Jurgen & Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 3259-3279, December.
  12. Mario Mechtel & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Electoral cycles in active labor market policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 181-194, July.
  13. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
  14. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
  15. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1994. "Political and Institutional Determinants of Fiscal Policy in the European Community," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(1-2), pages 157-172, July.
  16. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
  17. Mike Seiferling & Shamsuddin Tareq, 2015. "Fiscal Transparency and the Performance of Government Financial Assets," IMF Working Papers 15/9, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Alt, James & Lassen, David Dreyer & Wehner, Joachim, 2014. "It Isn't Just about Greece: Domestic Politics, Transparency and Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 707-716, October.
  19. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
  20. Alt, James E. & Lassen, David Dreyer, 2006. "Fiscal transparency, political parties, and debt in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1403-1439, August.
  21. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  22. 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.
  23. Maurice Wright, 1999. "Coping with Fiscal Stress: Illusion and Reality in Central Government Budgeting in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 349-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Heteroskedasticity-Robust Standard Errors for Fixed Effects Panel Data Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 155-174, 01.
  25. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Did globalization restrict partisan politics? An empirical evaluation of social expenditures in a panel of OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 105-124, July.
  26. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2009. "Planning to cheat: EU fiscal policy in real time," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 753-804, October.
  27. Anke Weber, 2012. "Stock-Flow Adjustments and Fiscal Transparency; A Cross-Country Comparison," IMF Working Papers 12/39, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Aizenman, Joshua & Powell, Andrew, 1998. "The political economy of public savings and the role of capital mobility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-95, October.
  29. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
  30. Markus Reischmann, 2014. "Staatsverschuldung in Extrahaushalten: Historischer Überblick und Implikationen für die Schuldenbremse in Deutschland," ifo Working Paper Series 175, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  31. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Labor market deregulation and globalization: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(3), pages 545-571, September.
  32. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2012. "Systemic Banking Crises Database; An Update," IMF Working Papers 12/163, International Monetary Fund.
  33. Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2006. "Are there Political Budget Cycles in the Euro Area?," European Union Politics, , vol. 7(2), pages 191-211, June.
  34. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
  35. Jeroen Klomp & Jakob Haan, 2013. "Political budget cycles and election outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 245-267, October.
  36. James Alt & David Dreyer Lassen & Joachim Wehner, 2014. "It isn't just about Greece: domestic politics, transparency and fiscal gimmickry in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57639, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  37. Dreher, Axel & Vaubel, Roland, 2009. "Foreign exchange intervention and the political business cycle: A panel data analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 755-775, September.
  38. Bohn, Henning, 2007. "Are stationarity and cointegration restrictions really necessary for the intertemporal budget constraint?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1837-1847, October.
  39. Dafflon, Bernard & Rossi, Sergio, 1999. "Public Accounting Fudges towards EMU: A First Empirical Survey and Some Public Choice Considerations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(1-2), pages 59-84, October.
  40. Bernardo Bortolotti & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Delayed privatization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 331-351, September.
  41. Reischmann Markus, 2014. "Staatsverschuldung in Extrahaushalten: Historischer Überblick und Implikationen für die Schuldenbremse in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 171-181, June.
  42. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
  43. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  44. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
  45. Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
  46. Belloc, Filippo & Nicita, Antonio & Sepe, Simone M., 2014. "Disentangling liberalization and privatization policies: Is there a political trade-off?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 1033-1051.
  47. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:2:p:243-257. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.