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Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies

  • Persson, Torsten
  • Roland, Gerard
  • Tabellini, Guido

We present a theoretical model of a parliamentary democracy where electoral competition inside coalition governments induces higher spending than under single party governments. Policy preferences of parties are endogenous and derived from opportunistic reelection motives. The electoral rule affects government spending, but only indirectly: proportional elections induce a more fragmented party system and a larger incidence of coalition governments than do majoritarian elections. Empirical evidence from post-war parliamentary democracies strongly supports these predictions.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00006019
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Article provided by now publishers in its journal Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 155-188

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Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00006019
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  1. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, June.
  4. Diermeier, Daniel & Eraslan, H�lya & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Bicameralism and Government Formation," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 227-252, August.
  5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, 2001. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," CESifo Working Paper Series 416, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2002. "Endogenous constitutions," Economics Working Papers 896, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2005.
  7. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "How Do Electoral Rules Shape Party Structures, Government Coalitions, and Economic Policies?," NBER Working Papers 10176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
  11. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  12. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  13. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 2000. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 46-79, September.
  14. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
  15. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  16. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
  17. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, August.
  18. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
  19. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
  20. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutions and Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 75-98, Winter.
  21. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
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