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Electoral Rules and Public Spending

Author

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  • Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria
  • Perotti, Roberto
  • Rostagno, Massimo

Abstract

We study the effects of electoral institutions on the size and composition of public expenditure in OECD and Latin American countries. We emphasize the distinction between purchases of goods and services, which are easier to target geographically, and transfers, which are easier to target across social groups. We present a theoretical model in which voters anticipating government policymaking under different electoral systems have an incentive to elect representatives more prone to transfer (public good) spending in proportional (majoritarian) systems. The model also predicts higher total primary spending in proportional (majoritarian) systems when the share of transfer spending is high (low). After defining rigorous measures of proportionality to be used in the empirical investigation, we find considerable support for our predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Perotti, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2001. "Electoral Rules and Public Spending," CEPR Discussion Papers 2742, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2742
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glaeser, Edward L., 2005. "Inequality," Working Paper Series rwp05-056, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Stefano Paternostro & Anand Rajaram & Erwin R. Tiongson, 2007. "How Does the Composition of Public Spending Matter?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 47-82.
    3. Tomaso Duso, 2002. "On the Politics of the Regulatory Reform: Econometric Evidence from the OECD Countries," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-07, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    4. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Inequality," NBER Working Papers 11511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bernardo Bortolotti & Paolo Pinotti, 2003. "The Political Economy of Privatization," Working Papers 2003.45, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral Rules; Proportionality; Public Spending; Transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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