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Reelection or term limits? The short and the long run view of economic policy

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  • Jorge Streb

Abstract

An incumbent's drive for reelection can lead to political budget cycles. The distortion cycles cause in economic policy may be offset by the information they indirectly provide about the incumbent's competency. The informative content of cycles depends on the sophistication of voters, i.e. on whether they are rational or near rational. In a framework of individual candidates, constitutional clauses that prohibit the reelection of the president eliminate political budget cycles. One-term limits that allow non-immediate reelection also shift the focus from short-run cycles to the long-run soundness of economic policies, and have superior welfare properties. Hence, the choice is not reelection or not, but rather immediate or non-immediate reelection.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Streb, 1999. "Reelection or term limits? The short and the long run view of economic policy," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 26(2 Year 19), pages 187-206, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:udc:esteco:v:26:y:1999:i:2:p:187-206
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
    2. Stein, Ernesto H. & Streb, Jorge M., 2004. "Elections and the timing of devaluations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 119-145, May.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    4. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    5. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
    6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    7. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Jürgen Von Hagen, 1999. "Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Latin America: The Case for a National Fiscal Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 415-442, October.
    8. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    9. Stein, Ernesto H. & Streb, Jorge M., 2004. "Elections and the timing of devaluations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 119-145, May.
    10. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. Jorge M. Streb, 2011. "Estabilización económica e incentivos políticos," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 461, Universidad del CEMA.
    3. Jorge Miguel Streb, 2005. "Signaling in Political Budget Cycles: How Far Are You Willing to Go?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 229-252, May.
    4. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    5. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reelection; economic policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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