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The political economy of fiscal deficits and government production

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  • Gisle James Natvik

    () (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

Abstract

This paper analyzes a framework where policymakers decide how to spend public resources on physical capital and labor in order to produce two public goods. Candidate policymakers disagree about which goods to produce, and may alternate in office due to elections. When capital and labor are complementary inputs to the production of public goods, the anticipation of political turnover reduces public savings in physical capital rather than finnancial assets. Political turnover renders the stock of physical capital for public production too low and ine¢ ciently combined with labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Gisle James Natvik, 2009. "The political economy of fiscal deficits and government production," Working Paper 2009/07, Norges Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2009_07
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    File URL: http://www.norges-bank.no/en/Published/Papers/Working-Papers/2009/WP20097/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Natvik, Gisle J., 2013. "The political economy of fiscal deficits and government production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 81-94.
    2. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policymaking: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 118-149, March.
    3. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    4. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-1213, December.
    5. Roel M.W.J. Beetsma & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Partisan Public Investment and Debt: The Case for Fiscal Restrictions," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/37, European University Institute.
    6. Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Are Budget Deficits Used Strategically?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 578, Boston College Department of Economics.
    7. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    9. Darby, Julia & Li, Chol-Won & Muscatelli, V. Anton, 2004. "Political uncertainty, public expenditure and growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 153-179, March.
    10. Marina Azzimonti, 2015. "The dynamics of public investment under persistent electoral advantage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 653-678, July.
    11. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-156, March.
    12. Marina Azzimonti, 2011. "Barriers to Investment in Polarized Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2182-2204, August.
    13. Jinhui H. Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2011. "On the Faustian Dynamics of Policy and Political Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 17-48.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
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    16. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    17. Marco Bassetto, 2006. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1167-1210.
    18. Marina Azzimonti, 2015. "The dynamics of public investment under persistent electoral advantage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 653-678, July.
    19. William Watkins & Henning Bohn, 2011. "Precommitted Government Spending and Partisan Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 3462, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "Factor Substitution and Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress in the United States: A Normalized Supply-Side System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 183-192, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Natvik, Gisle J., 2013. "The political economy of fiscal deficits and government production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 81-94.
    2. Jon Fiva & Gisle Natvik, 2013. "Do re-election probabilities influence public investment?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 305-331, October.
    3. Hiroki Kondo & Amihai Glazer, 2016. "Governmental Provision of Public Goods Need Not Crowd Out Private Provision," Working Papers 151607, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    4. Lars-Erik Borge & Arnt O. Hopland, 2017. "Schools and public buildings in decay: the role of political fragmentation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 85-105, February.
    5. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:5:p:1155-1173 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2017. "Inequality and public debt: A positive analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 1155-1173, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political economics; budget deficits; public investment;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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