IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/copoec/v32y2021i1d10.1007_s10602-020-09323-5.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The politics within institutions for regulating public spending: conditional compliance within multi-year budgets

Author

Listed:
  • Bernard Steunenberg

    (Leiden University)

Abstract

Multi-year budget frameworks are often considered as instruments for controlling spending, including in the context of the European Union. This paper shows that the effects of multi-year budgeting depends on several conditions, some of which, may lead to more rather than less spending. The analysis is based on a model of a finance minister’s decision to enforce a previously accepted budget ceiling in subsequent negotiations with a spending minister. The analysis takes account of uncertainty about preferences in these negotiations, positive transaction costs to the finance minister, and the possibility of political mediation through the prime minister. The findings of this paper show that compliance with budget frameworks improves under temporarily stable preferences (e.g. the absence of external shocks), more homogenous preferences within the government (e.g. majoritarian governments in contrast to coalition government), preference similarity between the finance minister and the prime minister (in case of mediation), and increasing transaction costs. In other circumstances, multi-annual frameworks will not be able to block any upward pressure on expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Steunenberg, 2021. "The politics within institutions for regulating public spending: conditional compliance within multi-year budgets," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 31-51, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:32:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s10602-020-09323-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-020-09323-5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10602-020-09323-5
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10602-020-09323-5?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    2. 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.
    3. Blume, Lorenz & Voigt, Stefan, 2013. "The economic effects of constitutional budget institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 236-251.
    4. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. "Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-242, December.
    5. Chatagny, Florian, 2015. "Incentive effects of fiscal rules on the finance minister's behavior: Evidence from revenue projections in Swiss Cantons," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 184-200.
    6. Gösta Ljungman, 2007. "The Medium-Term Fiscal Framework in Sweden," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 6(3), pages 1-17.
    7. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
    8. Canova, Fabio & Pappa, Evi, 2006. "The elusive costs and the immaterial gains of fiscal constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1391-1414, September.
    9. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
    10. Caruso, Germán & Scartascini, Carlos & Tommasi, Mariano, 2015. "Are we all playing the same game? The economic effects of constitutions depend on the degree of institutionalization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 212-228.
    11. Efendic, Adnan & Pugh, Geoff & Adnett, Nick, 2011. "Institutions and economic performance: A meta-regression analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 586-599, September.
    12. Jochimsen, Beate & Thomasius, Sebastian, 2014. "The perfect finance minister: Whom to appoint as finance minister to balance the budget," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 390-408.
    13. Steven A. Matthews, 1989. "Veto Threats: Rhetoric in a Bargaining Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 347-369.
    14. Riker, William H., 1980. "Implications from the Disequilibrium of Majority Rule for the Study of Institutions," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 432-446, June.
    15. Barry Anderson & Joseph J. Minarik, 2006. "Design Choices for Fiscal Policy Rules," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 5(4), pages 159-208.
    16. Frits Bos, 2008. "The Dutch fiscal framework: History, current practice and the role of the central planning bureau," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42.
    17. Marc-Daniel Moessinger, 2014. "Do the personal characteristics of finance ministers affect changes in public debt?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 183-207, October.
    18. Martin Ardanaz & Carlos Scartascini, 2014. "The economic effects of constitutions: do budget institutions make forms of government more alike?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 301-329, September.
    19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
    20. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    21. Reuter, Wolf Heinrich, 2015. "National numerical fiscal rules: Not complied with, but still effective?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 67-81.
    22. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    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. Heiko T. Burret & Lars P. Feld, 2018. "Vertical effects of fiscal rules: the Swiss experience," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(3), pages 673-721, June.
    3. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Burret, Heiko T. & Feld, Lars P., 2018. "(Un-)intended effects of fiscal rules," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 166-191.
    5. Beate Jochimsen & Robert Lehmann, 2017. "On the political economy of national tax revenue forecasts: evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 211-230, March.
    6. Martin Ardanaz & Carlos Scartascini, 2014. "The economic effects of constitutions: do budget institutions make forms of government more alike?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 301-329, September.
    7. Florian Dorn & Stefanie Gaebler & Felix Roesel, 2021. "Ineffective fiscal rules? The effect of public sector accounting standards on budgets, efficiency, and accountability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 387-412, March.
    8. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    9. Chatagny, Florian, 2015. "Incentive effects of fiscal rules on the finance minister's behavior: Evidence from revenue projections in Swiss Cantons," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 184-200.
    10. Nouha Bougharriou, 2017. "Understanding Public Debt from a Political Economy Perspective," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 3, pages 379-389, September.
    11. Krzysztof Beck & Michał Możdżeń, 2020. "Institutional Determinants of Budgetary Expenditures. A BMA-Based Re-Evaluation of Contemporary Theories for OECD Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(10), pages 1-31, May.
    12. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2005. "Strong politicians, small deficits: evidence from Norwegian local governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 325-344, June.
    13. Asatryan, Zareh & Castellón, César & Stratmann, Thomas, 2018. "Balanced budget rules and fiscal outcomes: Evidence from historical constitutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 105-119.
    14. Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "Defining The Government'S Debt And Deficit," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 711-732, September.
    15. 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.
    16. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Haruaki Hirota, 2021. "Do Public Account Financial Statements Matter? Evidence from Japanese Municipalities," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1172, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    17. Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2016. "Debt Brakes in the German States: Governments’ Rhetoric and Actions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 253-275, May.
    18. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. "Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-370, December.
    19. Iara, Anna & Wolff, Guntram B., 2014. "Rules and risk in the Euro area," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 222-236.
    20. repec:dgr:rugsom:14009-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Mark Schelker & Reiner Eichenberger, 2008. "Rethinking public auditing institutions: Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Working Papers 2008/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public spending; Multi-year budgets; Budgetary politics; Budget control; Political decision-making; Rules; Compliance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:32:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s10602-020-09323-5. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.