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Political Stability and Fiscal Policy - Time Series Evidence for the Swiss Federal Level since 1849

  • Lars P. Feld
  • Christoph A. Schaltegger

This paper explores the role of political stability on fiscal policy choices in a time-series ana-lysis over 158 years on the Swiss federal level. We argue that the fiscal-commons problem of public finances is affected by the time-horizon of a finance minister. Arguably, the incentives for an incumbent to maintain a good reputation with sound policy decisions are stronger the longer the time-horizon of a respective term. In addition, a finance minister who succeeds to stay a long time in office normally enjoys a politically powerful position towards the parlia-ment, the administration and the interest groups to influence policy decisions. In contrast, fre-quent government turnover weakens the position of the finance minister.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-06/cesifo1_wp2691.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2691.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2691
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  7. Pommerehne, Werner W & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, and Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408.
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  17. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
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  19. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  20. Hallerberg, Mark & Strauch, Rolf & von Hagen, Jurgen, 2007. "The design of fiscal rules and forms of governance in European Union countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 338-359, June.
  21. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Do Budget Rules Work?," NBER Working Papers 5550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
  25. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  34. repec:nbr:nberbk:peac61-1 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
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  38. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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