Giampaolo Lecce

Bocconi University,
Department of Policy Analysis and Public Managemen

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Bocconi University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2012The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments
with Alberto Alesina, Dorian Carloni
in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi, editors
This chapter considers the evidence supporting the conventional wisdom that deficit-reducing policies lead to electoral losses for fiscally conservative governments. It focuses on large fiscal adjustments, which are currently the center of attention in many Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and shows that there is no evidence that governments which reduce budget deficits even decisively are systematically voted out of office. In some cases they are, in some (more often) they are not.
December 2011The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments
with Alberto F. Alesina, Dorian Carloni: w17655
The conventional wisdom regarding the political consequences of large reductions of budget deficits is that they are very costly for the governments which implement them: they are punished by voters at the following elections. In the present paper, instead, we find no evidence that governments which quickly reduce budget deficits are systematically voted out of office in a sample of 19 OECD countries from 1975 to 2008. We also take into consideration issues of reverse causality, namely the possibility that only "strong and popular" governments can implement fiscal adjustments and thus they are not voted out of office "despite" having reduced the deficits. In the end we conclude that many governments can reduce deficits avoiding an electoral defeat.

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