IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gla/glaewp/2003_16.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Electoral Uncertainty, Fiscal Policies and Growth: Theory and Evidence from Germany, the UK and the US

Author

Listed:
  • George Economides
  • Jim Malley
  • Apostolis Philippopoulos
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

In this paper we study the link between elections, fiscal policy and economic growth/fluctuations. The set-up is a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of growth and endogenously chosen fiscal policy, in which two political parties can alternate in power. The party in office chooses jointly how much to tax and how to allocate its total expenditure between public consumption and production services. The main theoretical prediction is that forward-looking incumbents, with uncertain prospects of re-election, find it optimal to follow relatively shortsighted fiscal policies, and that this lowers economic growth. The model is estimated using quarterly data for Germany, the UK and the US from 1960 to 1999. Our econometric results provide clear support for the main theoretical prediction. They also give plausible and significant estimates for the productivity of public production services, the weight which households place on public consumption services relative to private consumption and the time discount rate. Moreover, we find that changes in electoral uncertainty produce the longest lasting fluctuations in the European economies followed by the US.

Suggested Citation

  • George Economides & Jim Malley & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Ulrich Woitek, 2003. "Electoral Uncertainty, Fiscal Policies and Growth: Theory and Evidence from Germany, the UK and the US," Working Papers 2003_16, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2003_16
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_22240_en.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
    2. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
    3. Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2004. "Indeterminacy and fiscal policies in a growing economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 645-660, January.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum, 1988. "Real Business Cycle Models," NBER Working Papers 2480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1.
      • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, June.
    6. Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2003. "On the dynamics of growth and fiscal policy with redistributive transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 515-538, March.
    7. Andrés Velasco & Jess Benhabib & Aldo Rustichini, 2001. "Public spending and optimal taxes without commitment," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 6(3), pages 371-396.
    8. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    9. 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 Elsevier.
    10. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1996. "Fiscal spending shocks, endogenous government spending, and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-3), pages 237-256.
    11. Alogoskoufis, George S & Lockwood, Ben & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 1992. "Wage Inflation, Electoral Uncertainty and the Exchange Rate Regime: Theory and UK Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1370-1394, November.
    12. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    13. 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.
    14. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    15. Fabrizio Carmignani, 2003. "Political Instability, Uncertainty and Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-54, February.
    16. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Heng-fu, Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 313-344, April.
    17. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
    18. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    19. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 126-150, October.
    20. Kevin J. Lansing, 1998. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model with Public Capital," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 337-364, May.
    21. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
    22. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
    23. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
    24. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    25. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
    26. Campbell, John Y., 1994. "Inspecting the mechanism: An analytical approach to the stochastic growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 463-506, June.
    27. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
    28. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918.
    29. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    30. Lockwood, Ben & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Snell, Andy, 1996. "Fiscal Policy, Public Debt Stabilisation and Politics: Theory and UK Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 894-911, July.
    31. Demetriades, Panicos O & Mamuneas, Theofanis P, 2000. "Intertemporal Output and Employment Effects of Public Infrastructure Capital: Evidence from 12 OECD Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 687-712, July.
    32. Price, Simon & Sanders, David, 1994. "Economic Competence, Rational Expectations and Government Popularity in Post-War Britain," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 62(3), pages 296-312, September.
    33. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
    34. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Simon Price, 2002. "Elections, Fiscal Policy and Growth: Revisiting the Mechanism," CESifo Working Paper Series 691, CESifo Group Munich.
    35. Devereux, Michael B. & Wen, Jean-Francois, 1998. "Political instability, capital taxation, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1635-1651, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "Fiscal policy in a Real-Business-Cycle model with labor-intensive government services and endogenous public sector wages and hours," EconStor Preprints 142338, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    2. Marina Azzimonti, 2011. "Barriers to Investment in Polarized Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2182-2204, August.
    3. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-84, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Simon Price, 2002. "Elections, Fiscal Policy and Growth: Revisiting the Mechanism," CESifo Working Paper Series 691, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "Essays on Real Business Cycle Modeling and the Public Sector," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 130522.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2003_16. 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: (Tedi Racheva). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dpglauk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.