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The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments

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  • Alberto F. Alesina
  • Dorian Carloni
  • Giampaolo Lecce

Abstract

The conventional wisdom regarding the political consequences of large reductions of budget deficits is that they are very costly for the governments which implement them: they are punished by voters at the following elections. In the present paper, instead, we find no evidence that governments which quickly reduce budget deficits are systematically voted out of office in a sample of 19 OECD countries from 1975 to 2008. We also take into consideration issues of reverse causality, namely the possibility that only "strong and popular" governments can implement fiscal adjustments and thus they are not voted out of office "despite" having reduced the deficits. In the end we conclude that many governments can reduce deficits avoiding an electoral defeat.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto F. Alesina & Dorian Carloni & Giampaolo Lecce, 2011. "The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments," NBER Working Papers 17655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17655
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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