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Voters' Commitment Problem and Welfare-Program Reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Hollanders, D.A.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Vis, B.

Abstract

This paper proposes that reforms by vote-seeking governments and the existence of reform-adverse voters are logically compatible. This results from a commitment problem on the part of voters. Due to economic voting voters cannot credibly commit to reelect a non-reforming government during a recession. The empirical implication of this voter commitment mechanism is that governments only adopt visible welfare-program reforms during economic lows, which is what the empirical political-economic literature has established.

Suggested Citation

  • Hollanders, D.A. & Vis, B., 2009. "Voters' Commitment Problem and Welfare-Program Reforms," Discussion Paper 2009-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:b07d1e30-5614-415f-b1a0-74c437ef5149
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    File URL: https://pure.uvt.nl/portal/files/1159098/2009-93.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tito Boeri & Axel Börsch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Would you like to shrink the welfare state? A survey of European citizens," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 7-50, April.
    2. Kemmerling, Achim & Neugart, Michael, 2009. "Financial market lobbies and pension reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 163-173, June.
    3. Weaver, R. Kent, 1986. "The Politics of Blame Avoidance," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 371-398, October.
    4. Pitlik, Hans & Wirth, Steffen, 2003. "Do crises promote the extent of economic liberalization?: an empirical test," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 565-581, September.
    5. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    6. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    7. Selen, Jan & Stahlberg, Ann-Charlotte, 2007. "Why Sweden's pension reform was able to be successfully implemented," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1175-1184, December.
    8. Tito Boeri & Axel Boersch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Pension Reforms and the Opinions of European Citizens," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 396-401, May.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:96:y:2002:i:04:p:697-712_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. van Groezen, Bas & Kiiver, Hannah & Unger, Brigitte, 2009. "Explaining Europeans' preferences for pension provision," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 237-246, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Commitment; Political Economy; Reform; Welfare-Programs;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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