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Elections and the Strategic Use of Budget Deficits

Listed author(s):
  • Roland Hodler

We present a model in which a conservative incumbent with preferences for low public spending can strategically run a budget deficit to prevent the left-wing opposition candidate from choosing high public spending if elected, and possibly also to ensure his own reelection. We find that the incumbent never manipulates the opposition candidate’s public spending if he can ensure his reelection; and that a conservative incumbent who runs a budget deficit to ensure his reelection may somewhat paradoxically choose high public spending before the election.

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File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/801110/1074.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1074.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1074
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia

Phone: +61 3 8344 8560
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/economics
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-850.
  2. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Yared, Pierre, 2010. "Future rent-seeking and current public savings," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 124-136, November.
  3. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
  4. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-236, March.
  5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-156, March.
  6. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
  7. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2001. "An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 570-583, June.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  9. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
  10. Hodler, Roland & Loertscher, Simon & Rohner, Dominic, 2010. "Inefficient policies and incumbency advantage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 761-767, October.
  11. Arnaud Dellis, 2009. "The Salient Issue of Issue Salience," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 203-231, 04.
  12. Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
  13. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Spolaore, Enrico, 1994. "How cynical can an incumbent be? Strategic policy in a model of government spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 121-140, September.
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