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Voting on the Budget Deficit


  • Tabellini, Guido
  • Alesina, Alberto


This paper analyzes a model in which a group of rational individuals votes over the composition and time profile of public spending. All voters agree that a balanced budget is ex ante optimal. However, if there is disagreement between current and future majorities, a balanced budget is not a political equilibrium under majority rule. Under certain conditions a majority of the voters favors a budget deficit, and the equilibrium deficit is larger the greater is the polarization among voters.

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  • Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," Scholarly Articles 4553030, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4553030

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