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Unraveling the political budget cycle nexus in Greece

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  • Laopodis, Nikiforos T.
  • Merika, Anna A.
  • Triantafillou, Annie

Abstract

This paper studies whether the Greek budget deficit is systematically affected by changes of government in the context of two political parties alternating in office. We advance the existing literature by constructing a tax evasion variable specific to the Greek economy and incorporating into our models. Testing the impact of each party upon the budget deficit during election and non-election years in the presence of tax evasion, we find a strong and persistent relationship between them independently of party political ideology. We assert that our finding constitutes a stylized fact of the Greek drama. Our results suggest that tax evasion together with the incident of two political parties alternating in office have tended to exacerbate the Greek government budget deficit accounting for about half the variation in it over the period examined. Moreover, GDP growth is found to exert a mitigating and permanent effect on budget deficit fluctuation.

Suggested Citation

  • Laopodis, Nikiforos T. & Merika, Anna A. & Triantafillou, Annie, 2016. "Unraveling the political budget cycle nexus in Greece," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 13-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:riibaf:v:36:y:2016:i:c:p:13-27
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2015.09.004
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    Keywords

    Greece; Political cycles; Tax evasion; Budget deficit;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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