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Auswirkungen der direkten Demokratie auf die öffentlichen Finanzen: Empirische Ergebnisse für die Schweiz

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

Abstract

This paper gives a survey of the empirical results of the impact of direct popular rights on public finances which have been achieved in a project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Using panel data from the Swiss cantons from 1986 to 1997 and cross-section data from the Swiss local communities from 1990 it has been shown that the fiscal referendum leads on both governmental levels to lower public expenditure and revenue. At the local level it also brings about lower public debt. In conjunction with other, available empirical evidence this shows that direct democracy fosters sounder public finances. The results also indicate that it would be favourable to introduce a fiscal referendum at the national level.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2002. "Auswirkungen der direkten Demokratie auf die öffentlichen Finanzen: Empirische Ergebnisse für die Schweiz," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(IV), pages 411-426, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2002-iv-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Noam, Eli M, 1980. "The Efficiency of Direct Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 803-810, August.
    2. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-938, October.
    3. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    4. Lars P. Feld & John G. Matsusaka, 2000. "Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss," CESifo Working Paper Series 323, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Werner W. Pommerehne & Albert Hart & Lars P. Feld, 1997. "Steuerhinterziehung und ihre Kontrolle in unterschiedlichen politischen Systemen," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 14, pages 469-487.
    6. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-170, July.
    7. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. "Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-370, December.
    8. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
    9. Feld, Lars P., 2000. "Steuerwettbewerb und seine Auswirkungen auf Allokation und Distribution," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 10, number urn:isbn:9783161473852.
    10. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2001. "On Government Centralization and Budget Referendums: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 615, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
    12. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    13. Peter Moser, 1996. "Why is Swiss Politics so Stable?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 132(I), pages 31-61, March.
    14. Hannelore Weck-Hannemann & Werner W. Pommerehne, 1989. "Einkommensteuerhinterziehung in der Schweiz: Eine empirische Analyse," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 125(IV), pages 515-556, December.
    15. Lars P Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2001. "The political economy of direct legislation: direct democracy and local decision-making," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 329-367, October.
    16. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 1999. "Public Debt and Budgetary Procedures: Top Down or Bottom Up? Some Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 151-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-538.
    18. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Direkte Demokratie," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Straubhaar, Thomas & Werner, Heinz, 2003. "Arbeitsmarkt Schweiz - ein Erfolgsmodell? (Labour market Switzerland – a success model?)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(1), pages 60-76.
    2. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:1:p:60-76 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Spending and Revenue; Budget Deficits; Fiscal Referenda; Direct Democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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