The Role of Political Partisanship during Economic Crises
Large economic crises require quick policy reactions. They bring a sense of urgency by increasing the cost of the status quo, and may thus force policy-makers to reform. However, large crises increase also uncertainty for many individuals (entrepreneurs, workers, retirees), and thus induce more demand for protection particularly in the labor and product markets. The ideology and political partisanship of the ruling government may contribute to determine which of these two orientations will prevail during crisis. In good times, conservative parties are typically pro-reform. However, do these parties try to exploit periods of crisis to carry on their reform? Do social-democratic parties support even more social protection? To answer these questions, this paper uses indicators of structural reforms in the labour, product, and financial markets for twenty-five OECD countries over the 1975-2008 period. Besides examining the role of major economic crises and of political partisanship in enhancing, or perhaps hindering, reforms, particular emphasis is given to how governments of different political orientation or strength react to economic crisis. The empirical analysis shows that large economic crises promote liberalization in product markets, but lead to more regulation in financial markets. Partisan politics matters in product and labor markets, as right parties are associated with more product market liberalization and privatization, with less rigid labor markets, and less generous welfare states. However, partisan politics takes different patterns during crisis: right parties refrain from promoting product market privatizations, but also from introduce more financial market regulations. By contrast, left parties are willing to privatize during crisis. Furthermore, weak, fractionalized governments are associated with more regulated product markets, but are more likely to liberalize during crisis.
|Date of creation:||May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cukierman, A. & Tommasi, M., 1997.
"When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China,"
30-97, Tel Aviv.
- Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991.
"Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
- Ashoka Mody & Abdul Abiad, 2005.
"Financial Reform; What Shakes It? What Shapes It?,"
IMF Economic Issues
35, International Monetary Fund.
- Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When?The Political Economy of Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(si), pages 1.
- Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
- repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517 is not listed on IDEAS
- Paola Profeta, 2002. "Retirement and Social Security in a Probabilistic Voting Model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 331-348, August.
- Roger Congleton, 2012. "On the political economy and limits of crisis insurance: the case of the 2008–11 bailouts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 399-423, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006.
"Who adjusts and when? On the political economy of reforms,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
2108, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 12049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
- William Tompson & Thai-Thanh Dang, 2010. "Advancing Structural Reforms in OECD Countries: Lessons from Twenty Case Studies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 757, OECD Publishing.
- David Stromberg, 2008. "How the Electoral College Influences Campaigns and Policy: The Probability of Being Florida," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 769-807, June.
- Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
- Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
- Allan Drazen & William Easterly, 2001. "Do Crises Induce Reform? Simple Empirical Tests of Conventional Wisdom," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 129-157, 07.
- Roger Congleton, 2009. "On the political economy of the financial crisis and bailout of 2008–2009," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 287-317, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7834. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.