An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt
In this paper I test whether there are strategic considerations in the making of fiscal policy. The general idea is that if a government anticipates the possibility of defeat in the next election it will try to use the debt strategically in order to influence the policy of its successor. Previous empirical studies have either rejected the strategic explanation of debt or have not been able to isolate this effect. I argue that these findings might be due to potential difficulties with the data sets used. To come to grips with these problems I make use of a data set from Swedish local governments. The main advantages of this panel data set are the institutional and constitutional homogeneity of the sample and the large number of observations from elections, nearly 2000. The main findings of this paper strongly suggest that there are strategic considerations in the making of fiscal policy. A right-wing government accumulates more debt during its term of office if it thinks that it will be defeated as compared to when it expects to remain in office. On the other hand, a left-wing government decreases the level of debt the higher the possibility of its defeat. Moreover, the larger the inherited debt the more a newly elected government has to reduce spending. These results are consistent with the predictions from a model developed by Persson and Svensson (1989).
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2000|
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 1 212 998 3820|
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
- 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
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, "undated". "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- M. R. Wickens, 1982. "The Efficient Estimation of Econometric Models with Rational Expectations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 55-67.
- Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Are Budget Deficits Used Strategically?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 578, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
- Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-1271, November.
- J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944.
- Epple, Dennis & Zelenitz, Allan, 1981. "The Implications of Competition among Jurisdictions: Does Tiebout Need Politics?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1197-1217, December.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-247, February.
- Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
- Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
- Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990. "Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects," Papers 1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1372. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.