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Political budget cycles and social security budget increases in the Republic of Ireland, 1923-2005

  • Cousins, Mel

This paper examines social security increases in Ireland as a case study of the existence of political budget cycles in European countries. Ireland is an appropriate country to examine, first because it has a system of proportional representation and some studies suggest that proportional electoral systems are associated with expansions of welfare spending both before and after elections. Second, it is generally recognised that Irish political parties occupy the middle ground in terms of political ideology. Again studies would suggest that an absence of a strong ideological commitment to particular policies may make political budget cycles more likely. Utilising the distinctive nature of the public expenditure process in relation to welfare budget increases, this article examines the issue of whether or not a political budget cycle can be seen in Ireland in relation to social security expenditure. It draws a number of conclusions as to the existence and incidence of political budget cycles in an Irish context and also looks at whether political budget cycles have succeeded in their apparent objective i.e. securing election for the relevant political party.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5359.

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Date of creation: 26 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5359
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  1. Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Impeded Political Budget Cycles in the European Union?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1532, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Hendrik Dalen & Otto Swank, 1996. "Government spending cycles: Ideological or opportunistic?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 183-200, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338.
  6. Alesina, Alberto F & Cohen, Gerald D & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies," CEPR Discussion Papers 608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Discretionary Fiscal Policy and Elections: The Experience of the Early Years of EMU," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 351, OECD Publishing.
  8. Gonzalez, Maria de los Angeles, 2002. "Do Changes in Democracy Affect the Political Budget Cycle? Evidence from Mexico," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 204-24, June.
  9. Tujula, Mika & Wolswijk, Guido, 2004. "What determines fiscal balances? An empirical investigation in determinants of changes in OECD budget balances," Working Paper Series 0422, European Central Bank.
  10. Min Shi & Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Political Budget Cycles: A Review of Recent Developments," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 29, pages 67-76.
  11. von Hagen, Jürgen, 2003. "Fiscal discipline and growth in Euroland: Experiences with the stability and growth pact," ZEI Working Papers B 06-2003, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
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