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Political stability and fiscal policy: time series evidence for the Swiss federal level since 1849

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  • Lars Feld
  • Christoph Schaltegger

Abstract

This paper explores the role of political stability on fiscal policy choices in a time-series ana-lysis over 158 years on the Swiss federal level. We argue that the fiscal-commons problem of public finances is affected by the time-horizon of a finance minister. Arguably, the incentives for an incumbent to maintain a good reputation with sound policy decisions are stronger the longer the time-horizon of a respective term. In addition, a finance minister who succeeds to stay a long time in office normally enjoys a politically powerful position towards the parlia-ment, the administration and the interest groups to influence policy decisions. In contrast, fre-quent government turnover weakens the position of the finance minister.
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  • Lars Feld & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Political stability and fiscal policy: time series evidence for the Swiss federal level since 1849," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 505-534, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:144:y:2010:i:3:p:505-534
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9677-7
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    Cited by:

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    2. Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2012. "Do personal characteristics of finance ministers affect the development of public debt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-068, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Fuchs, Andreas & Richert, Katharina, 2018. "Development minister characteristics and aid giving," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 186-204.
    4. Lars P. Feld, 2010. "Sinnhaftigkeit und Effektivität der deutschen Schuldenbremse," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(3), pages 226-245, August.
    5. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2692, CESifo.
    6. Burret Heiko T. & Köhler Ekkehard A. & Feld Lars P., 2013. "Sustainability of Public Debt in Germany – Historical Considerations and Time Series Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 291-335, June.
    7. Nithin K, 2015. "The Case of Revenue versus Expenditure Optimization in India," Working Papers 1528, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
    8. António Afonso & Maria João Guedes, 2014. "EU Finance Ministers, Capital Markets and Fiscal Outcomes," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Schröder, Christoph, 2013. "Revenue autonomy preference in German state parliaments," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-090, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2014. "Mehr Vertrauen in Marktprozesse. Jahresgutachten 2014/15," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201415.
    12. 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.
    13. Martin Baur & Pierre-Alain Bruchez & Barbara Schlaffer, 2013. "Institutions for Crisis Prevention: the Case of Switzerland," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4, pages 10-21, July.
    14. Ronny Freier & Sebastian Thomasius, 2016. "Voters prefer more qualified mayors, but does it matter for public finances? Evidence for Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 875-910, October.
    15. Fuchs, Andreas & Richert, Katharina, 2015. "Do Development Minister Characteristics Affect Aid Giving?," Working Papers 0604, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Constitutional changes; Fiscal policy; Political stability; Strong finance minister; H11; H50; H61; D78;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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