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Political Business Cycles at the Municipal Level

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2004. "Political Business Cycles at the Municipal Level," NIPE Working Papers 4/2004, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:4/2004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political business cycles; public finance; local governments.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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