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Why is Economic Policy Different in New Democracies? Affecting Attitudes About Democracy

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  • Adi Brender
  • Allan Drazen

Abstract

When democracy is new, it is often fragile and not fully consolidated. We investigate how the danger of a collapse of democracy may affect fiscal policy in new democracies in comparison to countries where democracy is older and often more established. We argue that the attitude of the citizenry towards democracy is important in preventing democratic collapse, and expenditures may therefore be used to convince them that "democracy works". We present a model focusing on the inference problem that citizens solve in forming their beliefs about the efficacy of democracy. Our approach differs from much of the literature that concentrates on policy directed towards anti-democratic elites, but our model can encompass that view and allows comparison of different apporoaches. We argue that the implications of the model are broadly consistent with the empirical patterns generally observed, including the existence of political budget cycles in new democracies not observed in established democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2007. "Why is Economic Policy Different in New Democracies? Affecting Attitudes About Democracy," NBER Working Papers 13457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    2. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kammas, Pantelis & Sarantides, Vassilis, 2020. "Democratisation and tax structure in the presence of home production: Evidence from the Kingdom of Greece," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 219-236.
    2. Clément Mathonnat & Alexandru Minea, 2018. "Forms of Democracies and Macroeconomic Volatility: An Exploration of the Political Institutions Black-Box," Post-Print hal-01903680, HAL.
    3. Kowalski, Tadeusz, 2013. "Globalization and Transformation in Central European Countries: The Case of Poland," MPRA Paper 59306, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    5. Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2016. "Fiscal redistribution around elections when democracy is not “the only game in town”," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 279-311, September.
    6. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Political budget cycles and the organization of political parties," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6654, The World Bank.
    7. Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2017. "Democratisation and tax structure: Greece versus Europe from a historical perspective," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 109, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    8. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2009. "Consolidation of New Democracy, Mass Attitudes, and Clientelism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 304-309, May.
    9. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2014. "Younger parties, bigger spenders? Party age and political budget cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-18.
    10. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    11. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2012. "Inflation and economic growth in Latin America: Some panel time-series evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 333-340.
    12. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    13. Mathonnat, Clément & Minea, Alexandru, 2019. "Forms of democracy and economic growth volatility," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 594-603.
    14. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    15. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Promises, promises : vote-buying and the electoral mobilization strategies of non-credible politicians," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6653, The World Bank.
    16. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Lying in Politics: Evidence from the US," Working Papers 22/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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