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Persistent Ideology and the Determination of Public Policies over Time

This paper investigates how public policy responds to persistent ideological shifts in dynamic politico-economic equilibria. To this end, we develop a tractable model to analyze the dynamic interactions among public policy, individuals' intertemporal choice and the evolution of political constituency. Analytical solutions are obtained to characterize Markov perfect equilibria. Our main finding is that a right-wing ideology may increase the size of government. Data from a panel of 18 OECD countries confirm that after controlling for the partisan effect, there is a positive relationship between the right-wing political constituency and the government size. This is consistent with our theoretical prediction, but hard to explain by existing theories.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10364/1/MPRA_paper_10364.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10364.

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Date of creation: 08 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10364
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  1. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Swagel, P., 2000. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Papers 2000-23, Tel Aviv.
  2. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
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  4. Hassler, John & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2003. "Democratic Public Good Provision," CEPR Discussion Papers 4044, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," NBER Working Papers 8214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi & Robert Waldmann, 2000. "Ruling Out Multiplicity and Indeterminacy: The Role of Heterogeneity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 295-307.
  9. Zheng Song, 2009. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," 2009 Meeting Papers 94, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Rethinking Multiple Equilibria in Macroeconomic Modelling," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1260, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2005. "Partisan Social Happiness," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 367-393.
  12. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
  13. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 7117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
  15. Jonsson, Gunnar, 1997. "Monetary politics and unemployment persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 303-325, July.
  16. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  17. 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.
  18. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  19. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  23. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  24. Marina Azzimonti Renzo, 2004. "On the dynamic inefficiency of governments," 2004 Meeting Papers 228, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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