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Public Investment and Re-election Prospects in Developed Countries

  • Margarita Katsimi
  • Vassilis Sarantides

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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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3570.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3570
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  1. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
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  11. Clémence VERGNE, 2006. "Democracy, Elections and Allocation of Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Working Papers 200608, CERDI.
  12. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  16. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Marco Buti & Alessandro Turrini & Paul Van den Noord & Pietro Biroli, 2010. "Reforms and re-elections in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 61-116, 01.
  18. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
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