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Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries

  • Niklas Potrafke


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

This paper examines whether government ideology has influenced the allocation of public expenditures in OECD countries. I analyze two datasets that report different expenditure categories and cover the time periods 1970-1997 and 1990-2006, respectively. The results suggest that government ideology has had a rather weak influence on the composition of governments’ budgets. Leftist governments, however, increased spending on “Public Services” in the period 1970-1997 and on “Education” in the period 1990-2006. These findings imply, first, that government ideology hardly influenced budgetary affairs in the last decades, and thus, if ideology plays a role at all, it influences non-budgetary affairs. Second, education has become an important expenditure category for leftist parties to signal their political visions to voters belonging to all societal groups.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2010-16.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1016
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