Public Investment and Re-election Prospects in Developed Countries
A growing literature suggests that office motivated politicians manipulate fiscal policy instruments in order to seek their re-election. This paper investigates the impact of electoral manipulation of the level and composition of fiscal policy on incumbent’s re-election prospects. This impact is estimated for a panel of 21 OECD countries over the period 1972- 1999. Our results suggest that increased public investment during the term in office, as well as a shift in expenditures towards public investment can improve re-election prospects. On the contrary, election year manipulation via public investment does not affect re-election prospects. We also find that voters punish politicians who create deficits during elections, while deficits that proceed the election year have similar, although smaller effects on the reelection prospects.
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