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Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece and elsewhere

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  • Spyros Skouras
  • Nicos Christodoulakis

Abstract

We present detailed empirical evidence that around Greek elections, misgovernance results in significant increases in wildfires and tax evasion and with important economic implications: the cumulative cost of these effects in recent years has been over 8% of GDP and has therefore been a contributing factor to Greece’s debt crisis and any effect this has had on the global economy. We interpret this evidence as a type of misgovernance which arises from electoral cycles in two types of incumbent incentives: (i) to allocate effort or attention between governing vs. campaigning; and/or (ii) to adopt even very inefficient redistributive policies if they benefit special interests with a lead over when the costs are observed. While these incentives may manifest differently among countries, our analysis suggests that electoral cycles everywhere may be much more multifaceted and harmful than previous literature suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2011. "Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece and elsewhere," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 47, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:47
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. George Alogoskoufis, 2012. "Greece’s Sovereign Debt Crisis: Retrospect and Prospect," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 54, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    2. Emmanuel Mamatzakis, 2013. "Are there any Animal Spirits behind the Scenes of the Euro area Sovereign Debt Crisis?," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 72, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    3. Yannis Valinakis, 2012. "Greece’s European Policy Making," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 63, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    4. Manussos Marangudakis & Kostas Rontos & Maria Xenitidou, 2013. "State Crisis and Civil Consciousness in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 77, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    5. Spyros Kosmidis, 2013. "Government Constraints and Economic Voting in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 70, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    6. Athanasia Chalari & Clive Sealey & Mike Webb, 2016. "A Comparison of Subjective Experiences and Responses to Austerity of UK and Greek Youth," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 102, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    7. Stavros B. Thomadakis, 2015. "Growth, Debt and Sovereignty: Prolegomena to the Greek Crisis," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 91, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    8. Voskeritsian, Horen & Kornelakis, Andreas, 2011. "Institutional change in Greek industrial relations in an era of fiscal crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 41758, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Helen Caraveli & Efthymios G. Tsionas, 2012. "Economic Restructuring, Crises and the Regions: The Political Economy of Regional Inequalities in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 61, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    10. Nick Papandreou, 2014. "Life in the First Person and the Art of Political Storytelling:The Rhetoric of Andreas Papandreou," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 85, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    11. Yiannos Katsourides, 2013. "Political Parties and Trade Unions in Cyprus," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 74, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    12. George Alogoskoufis, 2013. "Macroeconomics and Politics in the Accumulation of Greece’s Debt: An econometric investigation, 1975-2009," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 68, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    13. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Angelo Martelli, 2013. "Beyond Rising Unemployment: Unemployment Risk, Crisis and Regional Adjustments in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 80, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    14. Rosa VAsilaki, 2016. "Policing the crisis in Greece: The others' side of the story," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 98, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    15. Chalari, Athanasia & Sealey, Clive & Webb, Mike, 2016. "A comparison of subjective experiencesand responses to austerity of UK andGreek youth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68585, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Kougias, Konstantinos, 2017. "‘Real’ flexicurity worlds in action: evidence from Denmark and Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Kosmidis, Spyros, 2013. "Government constraints and economic voting in Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 50259, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Nicos Christodoulakis, 2014. "The Conflict Trap in the Greek Civil War 1946-1949: An economic approach," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 83, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    19. Konstantinos Kougias, 2017. "‘Real’ Flexicurity Worlds in action: Evidence from Denmark and Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 106, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    20. Platon Monokroussos & Dimitrios D. Thomakos, 2012. "Can Greece be saved? Current Account, fiscal imbalances and competitiveness," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 59, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    21. Stavros Thomadakis, Dimitrios Gounopoulos, Christos Nounis and Michalis Riginos, 2014. "Financial Innovation and Growth: Listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 86, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    22. Vassilis Arapoglou, Kostas Gounis, 2015. "Poverty and Homelessness in Athens: Governance and the Rise of an Emergency Model of Social Crisis Management," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 90, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political cycles; voting behaviour; performance of government; forest fires; tax evasion.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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