IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union


  • Hallerberg, Mark
  • von Hagen, Jürgen


Two literatures in political economy argue that differences in political institutions help explain variation in the fiscal performance of countries. They indentify electoral systems and institutions that structure the formation of the budget as important determinants of the budget deficit. In this paper we indicate that these two arguments complement one another. Electoral institutions matter because they restrict the type of budgetary institution a state has at its disposal to solve the coordination problem involved in the budget negotiations. The theory and the empirical results indicate a strong relationship between one-party governments and strong finance minister solutions on the one hand, and multi-party or minority governments and the use of formal budget targets on the other. Pooled time series regression supports our contention that the presence of one of these budgetary institutions matters more than the plurality/proportional respresentations dichotomy.

Suggested Citation

  • Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1555

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, W, 1997. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, January.
    2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Decressin, Jorg & Fatas, Antonio, 1995. "Regional labor market dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1627-1655, December.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Deficits; Electoral systems; Government budgeting; Political Economy; Public Debt;

    JEL classification:

    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1555. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.