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Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies

  • Torsten Persson
  • Gerard Roland
  • Guido Tabellini

We present a theoretical model of a parliamentary democracy where electoral competition inside coalition governments induces higher spending than under single party governments. Policy preferences of parties are endogenous and derived from opportunistic reelection motives. The electoral rule affects government spending, but only indirectly: proportional elections induce a more fragmented party system and a larger incidence of coalition governments than do majoritarian elections. Empirical evidence from post-war parliamentary democracies strongly supports these predictions.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 321307000000000706.

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Date of creation: 30 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:321307000000000706
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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, . "Electoral Rules and Corruption," Working Papers 182, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
  3. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
  4. Diermeier, Daniel & Eraslan, Hülya & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Bicameralism and Government Formation," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 227-252, August.
  5. Daniel Diermeier & Antonio Merlo, 1998. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Discussion Papers 1232, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "How Do Electoral Rules Shape Party Structures, Government Coalitions and Economic Policies?," Working Papers 251, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "Endogenous Constitutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 1-39, 03.
  8. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  9. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
  10. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutions and Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 75-98, Winter.
  12. Paul F. Whiteley (ed.), 1998. "Economic Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 996.
  13. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, December.
  14. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, May.
  15. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
  16. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . ""The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives''," CARESS Working Papres 98-08, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  17. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  18. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, December.
  20. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
  21. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  22. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  23. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
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