IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The political economy of the German Lander deficits: weak governments meet strong finance ministers

  • Beate Jochimsen
  • Robert Nuscheler

We analyse the deficits of the German Lander (regional states) for the period 1960 to 2005 and test a number of hypotheses derived from the literature on the political economy of public deficits. We find evidence for the weak government hypothesis, that is, coalition governments issue significantly more debt than single party governments - a result that is typically explained by the common pool problem. As our data suggest, this result crucially hinges on the position or strength of the finance minister within coalition governments. We find that coalition governments with a strong finance minister are - in terms of borrowing - not significantly different from single party governments. In addition, we find (weak) evidence for an opportunistic political business cycle. As borrowing is significantly lower in pre-election years it appears that German voters favour fiscal discipline. There is no evidence for partisan behaviour, so party ideology seems to play a negligible role.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840903194246
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 19 ()
Pages: 2399-2415

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:19:p:2399-2415
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAEC20

Order Information: Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RAEC20

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2004. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," ERSA conference papers ersa04p427, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "Does right or left matter? Cabinets, credibility and fiscal adjustments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2447-2468, December.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 63-82, February.
  4. MacRae, C Duncan, 1977. "A Political Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 239-63, April.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  6. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  7. Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990. "Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects," Papers 1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  8. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Joshy Easaw & Dean Garratt, 2000. "Elections and UK government expenditure cycles in the 1980s: an empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 381-391.
  10. Cusack, Thomas R, 1997. " Partisan Politics and Public Finance: Changes in Public Spending in the Industrialized Democracies, 1955-1989," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(3-4), pages 375-95, June.
  11. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  13. Andreas Andrikopoulos & Ioannis Loizides & Kyprianos Prodromidis, 2006. "Taxation and political business cycles in EU economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(15), pages 1761-1774.
  14. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  15. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  17. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
  19. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1997. "Political and economic determinants of OECD budget deficits and government expenditures: A reinvestigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 739-750, December.
  20. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  21. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  22. Seitz, Helmut, 2000. " Fiscal Policy, Deficits and Politics of Subnational Governments: The Case of the German Laender," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 183-218, March.
  23. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
  24. Bun, Maurice J. G. & Kiviet, Jan F., 2003. "On the diminishing returns of higher-order terms in asymptotic expansions of bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 145-152, May.
  25. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Fredrik Carlsen, 1997. "Counterfiscal policies and partisan politics: evidence from industrialized countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 145-151.
  27. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
  28. Alesina, Alberto & Cohen, Gerald D. & Roubini, Nouriel, 1993. "Electoral business cycle in industrial democracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, March.
  29. 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.
  30. Belke, Ansgar, 2000. " Partisan Political Business Cycles in the German Labour Market? Empirical Tests in the Light of the Lucas-Critique," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 225-83, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:19:p:2399-2415. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.