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Temporal aggregation in political budget cycles

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  • Jorge M. Streb
  • Daniel Lema

Abstract

While existing cross-country studies on political budget cycles rely on annual data, we build a panel with quarterly and monthly data from Latin American and OECD countries over the 1980-2005 period. Disaggregated data allow to center the electoral year more precisely, and show the effects are concentrated in a three-quarter window around elections. Cycles are statistically significant only in Latin America, but the pattern is similar to OECD countries: the budget surplus/GDP ratio falls in the election period and rises in the post-election period. In line with the logic of rational opportunistic manipulation, these effects cancel out.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge M. Streb & Daniel Lema, 2009. "Temporal aggregation in political budget cycles," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 403, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:403
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    File URL: http://www.ucema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/documentos/403.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
    2. Susanne Lohmann, 1998. "Rationalizing the Political Business Cycle: A Workhorse Model," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, March.
    3. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    4. Lorena Barberia & George Avelino, 2011. "Do political budget cycles differ in Latin American democracies?," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 101-146, January.
    5. Jorge M. Streb & Daniel Lema & Gustavo Torrens, 2009. "Checks and Balances on Political Budget Cycles: Cross-Country Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 426-447, August.
    6. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338.
    7. Jorge Streb & Gustavo Torrens, 2013. "Making rules credible: divided government and political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 703-722, September.
    8. Alt, James E. & Lassen, David Dreyer, 2006. "Fiscal transparency, political parties, and debt in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1403-1439, August.
    9. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1996. "Political Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies in Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 155-170.
    10. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    11. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    12. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    13. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
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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. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    3. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    4. Petrarca, Ilaria, 2014. "No news is costly news: The link between the diffusion of the press and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 68-85.
    5. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    6. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    7. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Daniel Lema & Jorge M. Streb, 2013. "Ciclos electorales en política fiscal," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 514, Universidad del CEMA.
    9. Ilaria Petrarca, 2013. "No news is costly news: the link between the diffusion of the press and public spending," Working Papers 16/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    10. Andrew Q. Philips, 2016. "Seeing the forest through the trees: a meta-analysis of political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 313-341, September.
    11. Jorge M. Streb & Daniel Lema & Pablo Garofalo, 2013. "Electoral cycles in international reserves: Evidence from Latin America and the OECD," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 526, Universidad del CEMA.
    12. Klien, Michael, 2014. "Tariff increases over the electoral cycle: A question of size and salience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 228-242.
    13. Endrit Lami & Drini Imami, 2013. "Searching for Political Fiscal Cycles in Hungary," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(4), December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    temporal aggregation; electoral window; pre- and post-electoral effects; political budget cycles; rational opportunistic cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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