IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/shf/wpaper/2015019.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal redistribution around elections when democracy is not “the only game in town”

Author

Listed:
  • Pantelis Kammas

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ioannina)

  • Vassilis Sarantides

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)

Abstract

This paper examines whether policy intervention around elections affects income inequality and actual fiscal redistribution. We first develop a simplified theoretical framework which allows us to examine fiscal redistribution around elections when democracy is not “the only game in town” and there is a threat of revolution from some groups of agents. Subsequently, employing data for a panel of 65 developed and developing countries during the period of 1975-2010, we provide robust empirical evidence of electoral cycles on income inequality and actual fiscal redistribution in countries characterized as new democracies. Moreover, our analysis suggests that this effect is mainly driven by a political instability channel which induces incumbents to redistribute resources - through fiscal policy - towards the poorer segments of the society in order to convince them that “democracy works”. In contrast, inequality and actual fiscal redistribution are not affected by elections in countries characterized as established democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Fiscal redistribution around elections when democracy is not “the only game in town”," Working Papers 2015019, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2015019
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2015_019
    File Function: First version, September 2015
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-134, June.
    2. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    3. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    4. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2007. "Why is Economic Policy Different in New Democracies? Affecting Attitudes About Democracy," NBER Working Papers 13457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-2220, December.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
    7. Mario Mechtel & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Electoral cycles in active labor market policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 181-194, July.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:71:y:1977:i:04:p:1467-1487_26 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2014. "Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 52-75.
    10. Sam Peltzman, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-361.
    11. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2012. "Do elections affect the composition of fiscal policy in developed, established democracies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 325-362, April.
    12. Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005. "Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
    13. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
    14. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    15. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    16. Przeworski, Adam, 2009. "Conquered or Granted? A History of Suffrage Extensions," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 291-321, April.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    18. Clémence Vergne, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," Post-Print hal-00368509, HAL.
    19. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2000. "Fiscal Policy Cycles and Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 115-130, January.
    20. Jeroen Klomp & Jakob De Haan, 2013. "Do political budget cycles really exist?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 329-341, January.
    21. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    22. Alejandro Corvalan, 2014. "The Impact of a Marginal Subsidy on Gini Indices," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 596-603, September.
    23. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1996. "Political Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies in Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 155-170.
    24. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    25. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2004. "Lessons for an ageing society: the political sustainability of social security systems," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 63-115, April.
    26. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    27. Georgios Efthyvoulou, 2012. "Political budget cycles in the European Union and the impact of political pressures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 295-327, December.
    28. Toke Aidt & Graham Mooney, 2014. "Voter suffrage and the political budget cycle: evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1401, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    29. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-984, September.
    30. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    31. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
    32. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    33. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    34. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
    35. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
    36. Vergne, Clémence, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-77, March.
    37. Adalgiso Amendola & Joshy Easaw & Antonio Savoia, 2013. "Inequality in developing economies: the role of institutional development," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 43-60, April.
    38. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
    39. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
    40. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
    41. Jorge M. Streb & Daniel Lema & Gustavo Torrens, 2009. "Checks and Balances on Political Budget Cycles: Cross-Country Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 426-447, August.
    42. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
    43. Aidt, Toke S. & Mooney, Graham, 2014. "Voting suffrage and the political budget cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902–1937," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 53-71.
    44. Little, Andrew T., 2012. "Elections, Fraud, and Election Monitoring in the Shadow of Revolution," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 7(3), pages 249-283, June.
    45. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2009. "Consolidation of New Democracy, Mass Attitudes, and Clientelism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 304-309, May.
    46. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2014. "Younger parties, bigger spenders? Party age and political budget cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-18.
    47. Toke Aidt & Graham Mooney, 2014. "Voting Suffrage and the Political Budget Cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937," CESifo Working Paper Series 4614, CESifo Group Munich.
    48. Helene Ehrhart, 2013. "Elections and the structure of taxation in developing countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 195-211, July.
    49. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-290, June.
    50. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    51. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2013. "Popular protest and political budget cycles: A panel data analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 516-520.
    52. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    53. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    54. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein & Cecilia Calderon, 2009. "Can foreign aid reduce income inequality and poverty?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 59-84, July.
    55. Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 231-242.
    56. James D. Fearon, 2011. "Self-Enforcing Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1661-1708.
    57. Susanne Lohmann, 1998. "Rationalizing the Political Business Cycle: A Workhorse Model," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, March.
    58. Jeroen Klomp & Jakob Haan, 2013. "Political budget cycles and election outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 245-267, October.
    59. Jorge Streb & Gustavo Torrens, 2013. "Making rules credible: divided government and political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 703-722, September.
    60. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    61. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
    62. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    63. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2017. "Democratisation and tax structure: Greece versus Europe from a historical perspective," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 109, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; new democracy; redistribution; income inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2015019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jacob Holmes). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/desheuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.