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The Political Economy of Local Governments' Expenditures

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Abstract

Although the literature on the political economy of public finance is already quite extensive, most articles analyse the behaviour of central governments. Furthermore, studies about the Portuguese economy are scarce. The present article contributes for a better understanding of these phenomena by testing the influence of political factors on municipal expenditure decisions in Portugal. The dataset used in the empirical work has information for all mainland Portuguese municipalities from 1979 to 2000. The tests performed reveal that local politicians increase capital expenditures before elections, particularly on roads and streets construction. Results also indicate that when the mayor belongs to the party that dominates the municipal assembly capital expenditures are higher. Finally, no support was found for partisan effects on incumbents’ investment expenditures choices.

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  • Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2002. "The Political Economy of Local Governments' Expenditures," NIPE Working Papers 8/2002, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:8/2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto F. Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 13-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    5. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    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. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    9. Alberto Alesina, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-678.
    10. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    11. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Linda Veiga & Francisco Veiga, 2007. "Political business cycles at the municipal level," Public Choice, Springer, pages 45-64.

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    Keywords

    political economy; local public finance; politics; Portugal.;

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