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Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from Wildfires and Tax Evasion in Greece and Elsewhere

38 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2010  

Spyros Skouras

Athens University of Economics and Business - Department of International and European Economic Studies

Nikos Christodoulakis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 14, 2010

Abstract

We present detailed empirical evidence that around Greek elections, misgovernance results in significant increases in wildfires and tax evasion and with important economic implications: the cumulative cost of these effects in recent years has been over 8% of GDP and has therefore been a contributing factor to Greeceā€™s debt crisis and any effect this has had on the global economy. We interpret this evidence as a type of misgovernance which arises from electoral cycles in two types of incumbent incentives: (i) to allocate effort or attention between governing vs. campaigning; and/or (ii) to adopt even very inefficient redistributive policies if they benefit special interests with a lead over when the costs are observed. While these incentives may manifest differently among countries, our analysis suggests that electoral cycles everywhere may be much more multifaceted and harmful than previous literature suggests.

Suggested Citation

Skouras, Spyros and Christodoulakis, Nikos, Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from Wildfires and Tax Evasion in Greece and Elsewhere (November 14, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1709068 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1709068

Spyros Skouras (Contact Author)

Athens University of Economics and Business - Department of International and European Economic Studies ( email )

GR-10434 Athens
Greece

Nikos Christodoulakis

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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