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Constitutional Determinants of Government Spending

  • Guido Tabellini

This paper surveys some recent literature on fiscal policy and comparative politics. Economic policy is viewed as the outcome of a game with multiple-principals and multiple-agents. Opportunistic politicians bargain over policy. Rational voters hold them accountable through retrospective voting. Political institutions determine the rules for legislative bargaining and for electing politicians to office. The questions asked are: how do alternative electoral rules and alternative regime types shape the size of government, the composition of spending, the performance of politicians in terms of effort or corruption, the features of electoral cycles. The paper discusses both theory and evidence, and concludes with some speculations about directions for future research.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 265.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_265
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  1. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  2. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Working Papers 114, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  7. Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
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