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Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?

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  • Margarita Katsimi
  • Vassilis Sarantides

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of elections on the level and composition of fiscal instruments using a sample of 19 high-income OECD countries that can be characterized as developed, established democracies during the period 1972-1999. We find that elections shift public spending towards current and away from capital expenditures. Moreover, although we find no evidence for an electoral cycle for government deficit and expenditures, we do find a negative effect of elections on revenue. Our results indicate that the fall in revenue in election periods is attributed to a fall in direct taxation. The decomposition of our electoral dummy suggests that fiscal manipulation seems to be concentrated shortly before the elections. Finally, when we distinguish among predetermined and endogenous elections we find that the above results apply only for the predetermined electoral periods while endogenous elections seem to increase the budget deficit and to leave the composition of fiscal policy unaffected.

Suggested Citation

  • Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 797-810, December.
    2. Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2015. "The relationship between federal budget amendments and local electoral power," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 186-198.
    3. Hoda Youssef, 2012. "Fiscal Manipulation in Non-democratic Regimes: The Case of Egypt," Working Papers 703, Economic Research Forum, revised 2012.
    4. Bove, Vincenzo & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Navas, Antonio, 2017. "Political cycles in public expenditure: butter vs guns," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 582-604.
    5. Enkelmann, Sören & Leibrecht, Markus, 2013. "Political expenditure cycles and election outcomes: Evidence from disaggregation of public expenditures by economic functions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 128-132.
    6. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Public investment and reelection prospects in developed countries," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 471-500, October.
    7. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Ideology and cultural policy," TWI Research Paper Series 49, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    8. Mario Mechtel & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Electoral cycles in active labor market policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 181-194, July.
    9. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 155-179, January.
    10. Konstantinos Konstantakis & Theofanis Papageorgiou & Panayotis Michaelides & Efthymios Tsionas, 2015. "Economic Fluctuations and Fiscal Policy in Europe: A Political Business Cycles Approach Using Panel Data and Clustering (1996–2013)," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 971-998, November.
    11. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-134, June.
    12. Kovács, Olivér, 2011. "Hiány, államadósság és fenntarthatóság. Benczes István-Kutasi Gábor: Költségvetési pénzügyek Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2010, 358 o
      [Shortage, state debt and sustainability: István Benczes and Gábo
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 383-387.
    13. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Freedom Across Canadian Provinces," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 143-166.
    14. Helene Ehrhart, 2013. "Elections and the structure of taxation in developing countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 195-211, July.
    15. Santolini, Raffaella, 2011. "Do electoral rules and elections matter in expenditure fragmentation? Empirical evidence from Italian regions," MPRA Paper 29724, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political budget cycles; elections; composition of fiscal policy; quality of public expenditure;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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