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Political Cycles and Cyclical Policies. A New Test Approach Using Fiscal Forecasts

Author

Listed:
  • Ohlsson, Henry
  • Vredin, Anders

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

We test how government revenue and expenditure depend on economic activity, elections, and ideology. We show how the use of fiscal forecasts makes it possible better to understand the determinants of fiscal variables and to separate fiscal policy rules from discretionary policies. The approach is illustrated using a unique, unpublished Swedish data set of fiscal forecasts and forecasts of economic activity. Revenue varies positively with nominal earnings, expenditure varies negatively with real GDP. We find partisan effects, but no political business cycle effects. Revenue and expenditure are lower with non-Social democratic governments. The partisan effect on revenue is stronger than on expenditure. Using another unique data set, we find that there are autonomous decisions behind the reaction of expenditure, but not of revenue, to activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ohlsson, Henry & Vredin, Anders, 1994. "Political Cycles and Cyclical Policies. A New Test Approach Using Fiscal Forecasts," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 9, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0009
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    Cited by:

    1. Ohlsson, Henry & Vredin, Anders, 1996. " Political Cycles and Cyclical Policies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 203-218, June.
    2. Susanna-maria Paleologou, 2005. "Political manoeuvrings as sources of measurement errors in forecasts," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 311-324.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal forecasts; fiscal policy; policy reaction functions; feedback; autonomous decisions; partisan theories; political business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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