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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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  • Enrico Longoni & Filippo Gregorini, 2009. "Inequality, Political Systems and Public Spending," Working Papers 159, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:159

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Milanovic, Branko, 1999. "Do more unequal countries redistribute more? does the median voter hypothesis hold?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2264, The World Bank.
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    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    9. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
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    11. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
    12. Gregorini, Filippo, 2015. "Political geography and income inequalities," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 439-452.
    13. Filippo Gregorini, 2009. "Political Geography and Income Inequalities," Working Papers 152, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2009.
    14. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    15. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Esteban & Laura Mayoral, 2013. "A Politico-Economic Model of Public Expenditure and Income Taxation," Working Papers 743, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Adnan Efendic & Naida Trkic-Izmirlija, 2013. "Effects of the global economic crisis and public spending on income distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 108, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    3. Chang, Chun Ping & Berdiev, Aziz N., 2011. "The political economy of energy regulation in OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 816-825, September.
    4. Isabelle Cadoret & Fabio Padovano, 2016. "The political drivers of renewable energies policies," Post-Print halshs-01290360, HAL.
    5. Richard McManus & F Gulcin Ozkan, 2017. "Who does better for the economy? Presidents versus parliamentary democracies," Discussion Papers 17/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Isabelle CADORET & Fabio PADOVANO, 2015. "The Political Economy of Renewable Energies," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2015-01-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.

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