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As a Matter of Factions: The Budgetary Implications of Shifting Factional Control in Japan's LDP

Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 293-328, August 1997

55 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2007  

Michael F. Thies

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University

Abstract

For 38 years, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) maintained single-party control over the Japanese government. This lack of partisan turnover in government has frustrated attempts to explain Japanese government policy changes using political variables. In this paper, we look for intraparty changes that may have led to changes in Japanese budgetary policy. Using a simple model of agenda-setting, we hypothesize that changes in which intraparty factions "control" the LDP affect the party's decisions over spending priorities systematically. This runs contrary to the received wisdom in the voluminous literature on LDP factions, which asserts that factions, whatever their raison d'ĂȘtre, do not exhibit different policy preferences. We find that strong correlations do exist between which factions comprise the agenda-setting party "mainstream" and how the government allocates spending across pork-barrel and public goods items.

Keywords: Liberal Democratic Party, Japan, budgetary policy, public goods, pork-barrel

JEL Classification: H61, N45, H41, H42

Suggested Citation

Thies, Michael F. and McCubbins, Mathew D., As a Matter of Factions: The Budgetary Implications of Shifting Factional Control in Japan's LDP. Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 293-328, August 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1002824

Michael F. Thies (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States
310-825-1976 (Phone)
310-825-0778 (Fax)

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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