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Political Business Cycles at the Municipal Level

This article tests for the existence of rational political business cycles models using a large and unexplored data set of Portuguese municipalities. The data set is well-suited for this purpose because it provides a high level of detail on expenditure items, because Portuguese municipalities are homogeneous with respect to policy instruments and institutions and follow an exogenously determined election schedule. Estimation results clearly reveal the existence of opportunistic behaviour by local governments. Expenditures increase in pre-election periods, especially on items that are highly visible to the electorate (e.g., highways and streets). This suggests an effort to signal competence and improve chances of re-election.

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File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2004/NIPE_WP_4_2004.PDF
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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 4/2004.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:4/2004
Contact details of provider: Postal: Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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  1. Baleiras, Rui Nuno & Costa, Jose da Silva, 2001. "To Be or Not To Be in Office Again, That is the Question: Political Business Cycles with Local Governments," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp402, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  2. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  3. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. 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.
  6. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. " Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
  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. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  10. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Blais, Andre & Nadeau, Richard, 1992. " The Electoral Budget Cycle," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 389-403, December.
  12. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  13. 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.
  14. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2001. "The determinants of vote intentions in Portugal," NIPE Working Papers 6/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  15. Baleiras, Rui Nuno & da Silva Costa, Jose, 2004. "To be or not to be in office again: an empirical test of a local political business cycle rationale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 655-671, September.
  16. Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear two-step GMM estimators," IFS Working Papers W00/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Positive Theory of Discretionary Policy, the Cost of Democratic Government and the Benefits of a Constitution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 367-88, July.
  18. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  19. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2000. "Popularity functions, partisan effects and support in Parliament," NIPE Working Papers 8/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  20. Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2002. "The Political Economy of Local Governments' Expenditures," NIPE Working Papers 8/2002, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
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