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Popularity, polarization, and political budget cycles

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  • Marek Hanusch

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  • Daniel Magleby

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Abstract

A vast literature has established that governments may abuse policy instruments in order to enhance their popularity and thus their probability of reelection, resulting in political budget cycles. Yet do popular governments have the same incentives to boost their popularity through pre-electoral expansions as unpopular governments? The existing empirical evidence, which to this date is entirely country-specific, produces mixed messages. Some studies find a simple linear relationship between popularity and the magnitude of political budget cycles and some find a non-linear relationship, peaking at the point where the race for office is tight. This article presents a simple theoretical model, which suggests that party polarization may be the key mediator reconciling these alternative findings. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Hanusch & Daniel Magleby, 2014. "Popularity, polarization, and political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 457-467, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:159:y:2014:i:3:p:457-467
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-012-0055-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2014. "Younger parties, bigger spenders? Party age and political budget cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Masahiro Tanaka, 2015. "Measuring Political Budget Cycles: A Bayesian Semiparametric Assessment," Working Papers 1415, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.

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