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Inequality, Political Systems and Public Spending

  • Enrico Longoni

    ()

  • Filippo Gregorini

Political regimes and institutions di®er across countries. Such char- acteristics in°uence public spending within each country. The aim of this paper is to check for the existence of a link between political institu- tions, income inequality and public spending. We develop an empirical investigation, based on panel data analysis, on the determinants of pub- lic spending focusing on political, economic, demographic and social variables in large sample of developed and developing countries from 1970 to 2005. In particular, we focus on the e®ects of electoral rules on government consumption ¯nding that in countries with proportional electoral rule an increase in the heterogeneity of the government in- creases government consumption, while in countries with majoriratian electoral rule, a shift from presidential to parliamentary system leads to an increase in government consumption. We ¯nd that the link between income distribution, measured by the Gini index, and public spending depends upon institutional characteristics. Moreover, we ¯nd empiri- cal support for the argument that government spending is a policy tool used by governments to insurance the domestic economy from external shocks stemming from international trade.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper159.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 159.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: Apr 2009
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:159
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  9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Filippo Gregorini, 2009. "Political Geography and Income Inequalities," Working Papers 152, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2009.
  12. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems And Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657, May.
  13. Filippo Gregorini, 2007. "Political Geography and Income Inequalities," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq0746, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  14. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
  15. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  16. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
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