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Sins of the elder: Fiscal illusion in democracies

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  • Paulo Reis Mourao,Ph.D

    (University of Minho)

Abstract

This work discusses the implications of democratic maturity on levels of Fiscal Illusion. Its main contribution is to identify the relevance of good-governance institutions that prevent incumbents in established democracies from degenerating into electoral rent-seekers. This work develops a model that converges with a Gordon (1989) type theorem. This theorem predicts that some countries ruled by incumbents are more likely to revert to FI practices as the electorate’s maturity increases and if there are no strong restrictions on the social acceptance of political rents. Our empirical results show that democratic maturity tends to diminish fiscal illusion.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2011:v:196:i:1:p:9-35
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    5. Mohtadi, Hamid & Roe, Terry L., 2003. "Democracy, rent seeking, public spending and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 445-466, March.
    6. Gordon, James P. P., 1989. "Individual morality and reputation costs as deterrents to tax evasion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 797-805, April.
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    8. 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.
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    13. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democratic maturity; Fiscal Illusion; rent-seeking.;

    JEL classification:

    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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