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Party Alternation, Divided Government, and Fiscal Performance within U.S. States

  • Peter Calcagno

    (Department of Economics, College of Charleston)

  • Monica Escaleras

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University)

The literature on U.S. state government fiscal performance has examined the role of institutional factors such as budget rules and divided government, but has largely ignored the impact of party alternation. This paper primarily focuses on whether party alternation in the governor’s office affects fiscal performance. Our hypothesis is that frequent party changes create a political environment that impacts fiscal performance. To further assess the impact of party alternation on fiscal performance, we consider our primary hypothesis in conjunction with the degree of division that exists between the governor’s office and the legislature. Using panel data from 37 states between 1971 and 2000 we test the hypothesis that frequent party alternation can be expected to affect fiscal performance and find strong support for the hypothesis.

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File URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/bx333020027qlq47/
File Function: Published version, 2007
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University in its series Working Papers with number 06006.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision: Dec 2006
Publication status: forthcoming in Economics of Governance
Handle: RePEc:fal:wpaper:06006
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Web page: http://business.fau.edu/economics

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  1. James Poterba, 1992. "Capital Budgets, Borrowing Rules, and State Capital Spending," NBER Working Papers 4235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  4. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  5. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1989. "Government Spending and Budget Deficits in the Industrial Economies," NBER Working Papers 2919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Razzolini, Laura & Shughart, William F, II, 1997. " On the (Relative) Unimportance of a Balanced Budget," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 90(1-4), pages 215-33, March.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  9. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
  12. Crain, W. Mark & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Time inconsistency and fiscal policy : Empirical analysis of U.S. States, 1969-89," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 153-159, June.
  13. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative Would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-45, May.
  14. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  16. Joseph M. Johnson & W. Mark Crain, 2004. "Effects of Term Limits on Fiscal Performance: Evidence from Democratic Nations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 73-90, 04.
  17. George Ford & John Jackson, 1998. "On the interpretation of policy effects from estimates of simultaneous systems of equations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(8), pages 995-999.
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