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Electoral Rules and Public Spending

Author

Listed:
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
    2. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
    4. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    7. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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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. 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).
    3. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Inequality," NBER Working Papers 11511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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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