Electoral and Partisan Cycles in Fiscal Policy: An Examination of Canadian Provinces
Posted: 21 Jan 2002
This paper examines the fiscal policy choices of Canadian provincial governments in the context of partisan and opportunistic cycles. We identify an electoral cycle in which the predilection of provincial governments of all political stripes to increase taxes is temporarily halted in election years. Opportunistic responses in spending are also present. Spending in highly visible areas (schools, roads and hockey rinks) tends to increase in election years. Partisan responses are largely absent from revenues but appear more frequently in program spending choices. Thus, Canadian political parties tend to favour differentiating amongst themselves via their spending, as opposed to their revenue, choices.
Keywords: Political economy, partisan and opportunistic effects
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