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Evaluating election platforms: a task for fiscal councils? Scope and rules of the game in view of 25 years of Dutch practice


  • Bos, Frits
  • Teulings, Coen


In some countries - the Netherlands, UK and USA - the expected economic implications of election platforms of political parties are evaluated by independent economic institutions prior to the election. This paper analyzes the merits and limitations of this process, taking 25 years of Dutch experience as a point of reference. In particular in times of financial crisis and unsustainable public finance, evaluation of election platforms can serve as a disciplining device for unrealistic or (time) inconsistent promises by politicians. More in general, it can help political parties to credibly inform voters about the implications of their platforms, to design more efficient policies and to reach consensus on them. It can also create a level playing field for political parties not represented in the government, in particular those with limited resources for economic information and expertise. However, there may be adverse effects, in particular when trade-offs are presented in an unbalanced way or when the rules of the evaluation provide too much room for gaming and free lunches.

Suggested Citation

  • Bos, Frits & Teulings, Coen, 2011. "Evaluating election platforms: a task for fiscal councils? Scope and rules of the game in view of 25 years of Dutch practice," MPRA Paper 31536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31536

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Frits Bos & Coen Teulings, 2012. "The world’s oldest fiscal watchdog: CPB’s analyses foster consensus on economic policy," CPB Discussion Paper 207, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item


    Evaluation of election platforms; Fiscal watchdogs;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists

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