IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Election Results and Opportunistic Policies: An Integrated Approach

The literature on political business cycles suggests that politicians systematically manipulate economic and fiscal conditions before elections. The literature on vote and popularity functions suggests that economic conditions systematically affect election outcomes. This paper integrates these two strands of literature. We use Rogo? (1990)’s model of the rational political business cycle to derive the two-way relationship between the win-margin of the incumbent politician and the size of the opportunistic distortion of fiscal policy. This relationship is estimated, for a panel of 275 Portuguese municipalities (from 1979 to 2001), as a system of simultaneous equations (by GMM). The results clearly support the theoretical predictions: (1) opportunism pays o?, leading to a larger win-margin for the incumbent; (2) incumbents behave more opportunistically when they expect a close election race.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 24/2007.

in new window

Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:24/2007
Contact details of provider: Postal: Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Phone: +351-253604510 ext 5532
Fax: +351-253601380
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Economics Working Papers 0047, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  3. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  5. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  6. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2007. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 45-64, April.
  7. Seitz, Helmut, 2000. " Fiscal Policy, Deficits and Politics of Subnational Governments: The Case of the German Laender," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 183-218, March.
  8. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  9. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. " Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
  11. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "A Politico-Economic Model of the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(350), pages 243-53, June.
  13. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  14. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753.
  15. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, July.
  16. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2000. "Popularity functions, partisan effects and support in Parliament," NIPE Working Papers 8/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  17. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  18. Galli, Emma & Rossi, Stefania P S, 2002. " Political Budget Cycles: The Case of the Western German Lander," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 283-303, March.
  19. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2001. "The determinants of vote intentions in Portugal," NIPE Working Papers 6/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  20. Blais, Andre & Nadeau, Richard, 1992. " The Electoral Budget Cycle," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 389-403, December.
  21. 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.
  22. Alesina, Alberto & Londregan, John, 1993. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," Scholarly Articles 4552529, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:102:y:1987:i:3:p:651-78 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Borooah, V K & van der Ploeg, F, 1982. "British Government Popularity and Economic Performance: A Comment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 405-10, June.
  25. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-60, May.
  27. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1980. "British Government Popularity and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(3593), pages 569-81, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:24/2007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria João Thompson)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.