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Municipal elections and cultural expenditure

  • Bernardino Benito


  • Francisco Bastida


  • Cristina Vicente


The aim of this paper is to analyze the effect of electoral timing on municipal public cultural spending. We use a panel sample of all municipalities from the Spanish Region of Murcia for 1995–2008. Our results reveal that mayors adopt an opportunistic behavior, increasing cultural spending in the election year and reducing it in the second year after the election. We also investigate whether the electoral cycle in cultural spending is influenced by mayors’ ideology, political strength, willingness to run for re-election, and electoral competitiveness. In this regard, our study shows that when mayors expect close elections, political budget cycles’ size is greater. Concerning political leadership, the magnitude of the electoral cycle is influenced by mayors’ political ideology rather than mayors’ political strength and re-election willingness. Additionally, we seek to shed some light on the determinants of public cultural spending. We find that income and upper-level governments’ transfers have a positive impact on cultural spending. Finally, unemployment, young people’s proportion and elderly people’s proportion negatively influence cultural spending. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

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Article provided by Springer & The Association for Cultural Economics International in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 3-32

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:37:y:2013:i:1:p:3-32
DOI: 10.1007/s10824-012-9175-5
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