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Fiscal Policy, Rent Seeking and Growth under Electoral Uncertainty Theory and Evidence from the OECD

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  • Konstantinos Angelopoulos
  • George Economides

Abstract

We construct a general equilibrium model of economic growth and optimally chosen fiscal policy, in which individuals compete with each other for a share of government spending and two political parties can alternate in power according to an exogenous reelection probability. The main prediction is that uncertainty about remaining in power results in increased fiscal spending, which in turn distorts incentives by pushing individuals away from productive work to rent-seeking activities; then distorted incentives hurt growth. This receives empirical support in a dataset of 25 OECD countries over the period 1982-1996. In particular, electoral uncertainty leads to larger government consumption shares in GDP, which in turn exert an adverse effect on the ICRG index measuring incentives and this is bad for growth. Actually, estimation by IV methods and confidence intervals that are robust to (potentially) weak instruments, reveal that OLS under-estimates the effects of government spending on rent extraction activities and of such activities on economic growth.

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  • Konstantinos Angelopoulos & George Economides, "undated". "Fiscal Policy, Rent Seeking and Growth under Electoral Uncertainty Theory and Evidence from the OECD," Working Papers 2007_28, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Apr 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2007_28
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    Cited by:

    1. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & George Economides & Pantelis Kammas, 2009. "Do political incentives matter for tax policies? Ideology, opportunism and the tax structure," Working Papers 2009_12, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Andrei S. Akhremenko & Alexander P. Petrov & Egor A. Yureskul, 2015. "Cyclically Balanced Growth Paths in a Model of Economic Growth with Endogenous Policy Switching," HSE Working papers WP BRP 109/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-134, June.
    4. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2012. "Do elections affect the composition of fiscal policy in developed, established democracies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 325-362, April.
    5. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 155-179, January.
    6. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Freedom Across Canadian Provinces," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 143-166.
    7. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Ideology and cultural policy," TWI Research Paper Series 49, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    8. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Political Effects on the Allocation of Public Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 653, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. 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

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; rent seeking; economic growth; elections.;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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