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Manipulating Fiscal Forecasts: Evidence from the German States

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  • Björn Kauder
  • Niklas Potrafke
  • Christoph Schinke

Abstract

We examine whether German state governments manipulated fiscal forecasts before elections. Our data set includes three fiscal measures over the period 1980-2014. The results do not show that electoral motives influenced fiscal forecasts in West German states. By contrast, East German state governments underestimated spending in preelection years (compared to other years) by about 0.20 percent of GDP, tax revenues by about 0.36 percent of GDP, and net lending by 0.30 percent of GDP. Predicting low levels of spending and tax revenues, East German state governments thus underestimated the size of government in preelection years.

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  • Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Christoph Schinke, 2017. "Manipulating Fiscal Forecasts: Evidence from the German States," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(2), pages 213-236, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201706)73:2_213:mffeft_2.0.tx_2-2
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X14877521353438
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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Riem, 2016. "Does political uncertainty influence firm owners‘ business perceptions?," ifo Working Paper Series 226, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Beate Jochimsen & Robert Lehmann, 2017. "On the political economy of national tax revenue forecasts: evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 211-230, March.
    3. Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2016. "Debt Brakes in the German States: Governments’ Rhetoric and Actions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 253-275, May.
    4. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Fabian Ruthardt & Christoph Schinke, 2017. "Beschönigen Landesregierungen fiskalische Kennziffern?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 70(06), pages 36-40, March.
    5. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Electoral Cycles in MPs' Salaries: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6028, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Do politicians reward core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-56.
    7. Beate Jochimsen & Robert Lehmann, 2017. "On the political economy of national tax revenue forecasts: evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 211-230, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal forecasts; electoral cycles; East and West Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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