Where Does the Political Budget Cycle Really Come from?

45 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2003

See all articles by Adi Brender

Adi Brender

Bank of Israel - Research Department

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2003

Abstract

Whereas a political budget cycle was once thought to be a phenomenon of less-developed economies, some recent studies find such a cycle in a large cross-section of both developed and developing countries. We find that this result is driven by the experience of 'new democracies', where fiscal manipulation may be effective because of lack of experience with electoral politics or lack of information that voters in more established democracies use. The strong budget cycle in those countries accounts for the finding of a budget cycle in larger samples that include these countries. Once these countries are removed from the larger sample, the political budget cycle disappears. Our findings may reconcile two contradictory views of pre-electoral manipulation, one arguing it is a useful instrument to gain voter support and a widespread empirical phenomenon, the other arguing that voters punish rather than reward fiscal manipulation.

Keywords: Political budget cycle, new democracy, fiscal manipulation

JEL Classification: D72, D78, E62

Suggested Citation

Brender, Adi and Drazen, Allan, Where Does the Political Budget Cycle Really Come from? (September 2003). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4049. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=462820

Adi Brender

Bank of Israel - Research Department ( email )

PO Box 780
Jerusalem 91007
Israel
+972 2 655 2618 (Phone)
+972 2 655 2657 (Fax)

Allan Drazen (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-3477 (Phone)
301-405-7835 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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