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Political Cycles in Public Expenditure: Butter vs Guns

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  • Vincenzo Bove

    () (Department of Government, University of Essex)

  • Georgios Efthyvoulou

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)

  • Antonio Navas

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model and empirical evidence from 22 OECD countries to highlight how governments may use the tradeoff between social and military expenditure to advance their electoral and partisan objectives. Three basic results emerge. First, governments tend to bias outlays towards social expenditure and away from military expenditure at election times. Second, the strength of this cycle is smaller when we exclude countries involved in conflict, where national security plays an important role on voter choice. Third, while certain categories of social expenditure are higher during left administrations, military expenditure is higher during right administrations.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Bove & Georgios Efthyvoulou & Antonio Navas, 2013. "Political Cycles in Public Expenditure: Butter vs Guns," Working Papers 2013016, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2013016
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    2. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Electoral Cycles in MPs' Salaries: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6028, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:712-750 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Potrafke, Niklas, 2017. "Partisan politics: The empirical evidence from OECD panel studies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 712-750.
    5. Langlotz, Sarah & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Does development aid increase military expenditure?," Working Papers 0618, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    6. Khani Hoolari, Seyed Morteza & Taghinejad Omran, Vahid, 2017. "Natural Budget Deficit and Natural Political Cyclicality," MPRA Paper 78107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Gupta, Sanjeev & Liu, Estelle X. & Mulas-Granados, Carlos, 2016. "Now or later? The political economy of public investment in democracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 101-114.
    8. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    9. Niklas Potrafke, 2015. "The Evidence on Globalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 509-552, March.
    10. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    11. Sanjeev Gupta & Estelle X Liu & Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2015. "Now or Later? The Political Economy of Public Investment in Democracies," IMF Working Papers 15/175, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; partisanship; social expenditure; military expenditure;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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