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Towards Micropolitical Foundations of Public Finance

  • Torsten Persson
  • Gerard Roland
  • Guido Tabellini

Observed fiscal policy reflects the incentives embedded in political institutions. In this paper, we illustrate the effects of two general institutional features: separation of powers, which is common in Presidential-Congressional political systems, and legislative cohesion, which is typical of parliamentary systems. Compared to a simple legislative game, separation of powers brings about a smaller size of government and lower waste, whereas legislative cohesion induces a more equal distribution, but more waste and higher taxes.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 119.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:119
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  1. Persson, Torsten & Roland , Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Seminar Papers 633, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-27, March.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  4. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L. Judd & Ehud Kalai, 1990. "Observable Contracts: Strategic Delegation and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 879, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Daniel Diermeier & Timothy J. Feddersen, 1996. "Disciplined Coalitions and Redistribution: The Effect of the Vote of Confidence Procedure on Legislative Bargaining," Discussion Papers 1171, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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