Electoral and Partisan Cycles in Fiscal Policy: An Examination of Canadian Provinces

Posted: 21 Jan 2002

See all articles by Ronald D. Kneebone

Ronald D. Kneebone

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy; University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Kenneth J. McKenzie

University of Calgary - Department of Economics; University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Kneebone, Ron and McKenzie, Kenneth, Electoral and Partisan Cycles in Fiscal Policy: An Examination of Canadian Provinces. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=296588

Ron Kneebone (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy

Calgary, Alberta
Canada

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Kenneth McKenzie

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy

Calgary, Alberta
Canada

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