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The Weak Government Thesis: Some New Evidence


  • de Haan, Jakob
  • Sturm, Jan-Egbert
  • Beekhuis, Geert


This paper presents new evidence on the hypothesis that coalition governments will find it more difficult to keep their budgets in line after an adverse economic shock than do one-party, majoritarian governments. The estimates are based on a broad sample of OECD countries, for the period 1979-1995. Using various specifications as suggested in the literature, we do not find evidence that the type of government affects cross country variation in fiscal policy. However, the number of political parties in government affects central government debt growth. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Beekhuis, Geert, 1999. "The Weak Government Thesis: Some New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(3-4), pages 163-176, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:101:y:1999:i:3-4:p:163-76

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1997. "Political and economic determinants of OECD budget deficits and government expenditures: A reinvestigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 739-750, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
    7. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, J├╝rgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
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