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Government Accountability and Fiscal Discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data

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  • Schaltegger, Christoph
  • Torgler, Benno

Abstract

Government accountability through electoral engagement, involvement and participation in the political debate can affect government performance. Using data for the full sample of Swiss cantons over the 1981–2001 period, this paper provides empirical evidence that government accountability is crucial for fiscal discipline. Specifically, in cantons with high levels of government accountability, the level of indebtedness is significantly lower, indicating that accountability supports fiscal discipline. To obtain a useful approximation for government accountability between citizens and their representatives, we use information from direct voter participation in political decisions (initiatives and public referenda) in Swiss state (cantonal) governments. Electoral support of government proposals reveals an important aspect of accountability in a real world setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Schaltegger, Christoph & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Government Accountability and Fiscal Discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1jc275p2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt1jc275p2
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    1. repec:arp:ijefrr:2017:p:44-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Torgler, Benno & Garcia-Valinas, Maria A., 2007. "The determinants of individuals' attitudes towards preventing environmental damage," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 536-552, August.
    3. Benno Torgler, 2008. "Trust in international organizations: An empirical investigation focusing on the United Nations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 65-93, March.
    4. Benno Torgler, 2006. "Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Martin G?chter & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2009. "The relationship between Stress, Strain and Social Capital," Working Papers 2010-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Mar 2010.
    6. Benno Torgler & Bruno Frey, 2013. "Politicians: be killed or survive," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 357-386, July.
    7. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Alison Macintyre, 2007. "Tax Compliance, Tax Morale, and Governance Quality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0727, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    8. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    9. Friedrich Schneider (ed.), 2011. "Handbook on the Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13432, April.
    10. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    11. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2006. "Tax Morale: A Survey with a Special Focus on Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(III), pages 395-425, September.
    12. repec:prg:jnlefa:v:2017:y:2017:i:3:id:196:p:191-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Beatriz Cuadrado-Ballesteros & Noemí Mordán & Isabel-María García-Sánchez, 2014. "Is Local Financial Health Associated with Citizens’ Quality of Life?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 559-580, November.
    14. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 228-245.
    15. Stadelmann, David, 2010. "Which factors capitalize into house prices? A Bayesian averaging approach," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, pages 180-204.
    16. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1542-1565, April.
    17. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2012. "Reassessment of the Tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1063-1078.
    18. Olayeni, Olaolu Richard, 2009. "A Bayesian analysis of government expenditure in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 18244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Martin Gächter & David Savage & Benno Torgler, 2009. "The Relationship between Stress and Social Capital among Police Officers," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 250, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, revised 10 Sep 2009.
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    22. Johannes Koettl & Truman Packard & Claudio E. Montenegro, 2012. "In From the Shadow : Integrating Europe's Informal Labor," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9377.

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    Keywords

    Z130; H110; O170; D720; E620;

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    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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