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A partisan model of government expenditure

  • Thomas Bräuninger


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    Partisan models of budget politics largely concentrate on the size of government, budget deficits and debt, but most theories have little to say as to what the effect of party politics on both the size and the composition of budgets is. This paper seeks to extend previous literature in two directions. First, a model of spending preferences is developed that relates actors' preferred level and allocation of expenditure to electoral gains from fiscal policies. Second, changes in both total expenditure and the expenditure mix of two budget categories are analyzed for the effect of parties' spending preferences as stated in their election manifestos. Using data on 19 OECD countries from 1971 to 1999, the paper finds support for general partisan hypothesis. The results suggest that the actual spending preferences of parties matter whereas they do not indicate that parties of the left consistently differ from parties of the right in their spending behavior. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 125 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 409-429

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:125:y:2005:i:3:p:409-429
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    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. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Working Papers 378, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    3. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. " Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-42, December.
    4. Mark Hallerberg & Jurgen von Hagen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Working Papers 6341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Garrett, Geoffrey & Lange, Peter, 1991. "Political responses to interdependence: what's “left” for the left?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 539-564, September.
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