IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/imf/imfwpa/2002-162.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Politics, Government Size, and Fiscal Adjustment in Industrial Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Mr. Anthony M Annett

Abstract

It is now well established that political and institutional factors matter for fiscal outcomes. Following a review of the literature, this paper examines the relationship between a variety of political-institutional variables and fiscal aggregates-encompassing the overall balance as well as expenditure and revenue and their various components-across 19 industrial countries over the past two decades. It finds strong effects on fiscal policy from such factors as type of electoral system, degree of legislative or government fragmentation, and stability of government. Some of the strongest results emerge for certain components of expenditure, such as transfers, and for the balance between labor and consumption taxation. There are clear relationships between the type of political system and choice of tax and expenditure system. The paper also examines fiscal adjustment since the late 1980s in light of these political factors, finding some evidence of a reversal in trend, but only when growth has been high or when debt has become problematic.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Anthony M Annett, 2002. "Politics, Government Size, and Fiscal Adjustment in Industrial Countries," IMF Working Papers 2002/162, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2002/162
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=15942
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    4. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1994. "Political and Institutional Determinants of Fiscal Policy in the European Community," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(1-2), pages 157-172, July.
    5. Andres Velasco, 1999. "A Model of Endogenous Fiscal Deficits and Delayed Fiscal Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 37-58, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
    7. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, December.
    9. Ernesto Stein & Ernesto Talvi & Alejandro Grisanti, 1999. "Institutional Arrangements and Fiscal Performance: The Latin American Experience," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 103-134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084, Elsevier.
    11. Alesina, Alberto & Hausmann, Ricardo & Hommes, Rudolf & Stein, Ernesto, 1999. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 253-273, August.
    12. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 48-104.
    13. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    14. Anthony Annett, 2001. "Social Fractionalization, Political Instability, and the Size of Government," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(3), pages 1-7.
    15. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    16. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-976, December.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
    18. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
    19. Michael Bleaney & Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller, 2001. "Testing the endogenous growth model: public expenditure, taxation, and growth over the long run," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 36-57, February.
    20. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
    21. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the US Have a European-Style Welfare System?," NBER Working Papers 8524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
    23. Hallerberg, Mark, 2000. "The importance of domestic political institutions: Why and how Belgium and Italy qualified for EMU," ZEI Working Papers B 10-2000, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    24. von Hagen, Jürgen & Strauch, Rolf R., 1999. "Tumbling giant: Germany's experience with the Maastricht fiscal criteria," ZEI Working Papers B 05-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    25. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    26. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    27. Alt, James E. & Lowry, Robert C., 1994. "Divided Government, Fiscal Institutions, and Budget Deficits: Evidence from the States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 88(4), pages 811-828, December.
    28. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, "undated". "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States (Reprint 060)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    29. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
    30. Poterba, James M. & von Hagen, Jurgen (ed.), 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226676234, February.
    31. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, January.
    32. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
    33. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Robert Lavigne, 2006. "The Institutional and Political Determinants of Fiscal Adjustment," Staff Working Papers 06-1, Bank of Canada.
    2. Gorčák Martin & Šaroch Stanislav, 2021. "Impact of fiscal institutions on public finances in the European Union: Review of evidence in the empirical literature," Review of Economic Perspectives, Sciendo, vol. 21(2), pages 215-232, June.
    3. Lavigne, Robert, 2011. "The political and institutional determinants of fiscal adjustment: Entering and exiting fiscal distress," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 17-35, March.
    4. Mr. Anthony M Annett, 2006. "Enforcement and the Stability and Growth Pact: How Fiscal Policy Did and Did Not Change Under Europe’s Fiscal Framework," IMF Working Papers 2006/116, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Salih BARIŞIK & Abdullah BARIS, 2017. "Impact of governance on budget deficit in developing countries," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(611), S), pages 111-130, Summer.
    6. Mr. Anthony M Annett, 2007. "Toward a Robust Fiscal Framework for Iceland: Motivation and Practical Suggestions," IMF Working Papers 2007/235, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2012. "The Effect of Development Aid Unpredictability and Migrants' Remittances on Fiscal Consolidation in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00677108, HAL.
    8. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2012. "The Effect of Development Aid Unpredictability and Migrants' Remittances on Fiscal Consolidation in Developing Countries," CERDI Working papers halshs-00677108, HAL.
    9. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2014. "The Effect of Development Aid Unpredictability and Migrants’ Remittances on Fiscal Consolidation in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 168-190.
    10. Sena Kimm GNANGNON, 2012. "The Effect of Development Aid Unpredictability and Migrants’ Remittances on Fiscal Consolidation in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201210, CERDI.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    2. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    3. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Benczes, István, 2008. "A költségvetési hiány politikai gazdaságtana [The political economy of budgetary deficit]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 218-232.
    5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, "undated". "Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes: What are the Stylized Facts?," Working Papers 189, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2005. "Strong politicians, small deficits: evidence from Norwegian local governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 325-344, June.
    7. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. "Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-370, December.
    8. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
    9. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
    10. Veronica Grembi & Tommaso Nannicini & Ugo Troiano, 2011. "Policy Responses to Fiscal Restraints: A Difference-in-Discontinuities Design," Working Papers 397, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    11. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2008. "Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence on Institutional Restraints on the Fiscal Commons Problem for Swiss Cantons," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. Woo, Jaejoon, 2003. "Economic, political, and institutional determinants of public deficits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 387-426, March.
    13. Ziogas, Thanasis & Panagiotidis, Theodore, 2021. "Revisiting the political economy of fiscal adjustments," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    14. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2004. "Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence from Swiss Sub-Federal Jurisdictions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1294, CESifo.
    15. Mr. Ashoka Mody & Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, 2006. "Can Budget Institutions Counteract Political Indiscipline?," IMF Working Papers 2006/123, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
    17. Heiner Felix Mikosch & Silke Übelmesser, 2007. "Staatsverschuldungsunterschiede im internationalen Vergleich und Schlussfolgerungen für Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(4), pages 309-334, November.
    18. Joaquín Artés & Ignacio Jurado, 2018. "Government fragmentation and fiscal deficits: a regression discontinuity approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 175(3), pages 367-391, June.
    19. Ringa Raudla, 2010. "Governing budgetary commons: what can we learn from Elinor Ostrom?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 201-221, December.
    20. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutions and Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 75-98, Winter.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2002/162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/imfffus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Akshay Modi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/imfffus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.