Can budget institutions counteract political indiscipline?

Stefania Fabrizio, Ashoka Mody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

The budget is an expression of political rather than economic priorities. We confirm this proposition for a group of new and potential members of the European Union, finding that politics dominates. The contemporary practice of democracy can increase budget deficits through not only ideological preferences, but also more fragmented government coalitions and higher voter participation. Long-term structural forces, triggered by societal divisions and representative electoral rules, have more ambiguous implications but also appear to increase budget pressures, as others have also found. However, our most robust, and hopeful, finding is that budget institutions - mechanisms and rules of the budget process - that create checks and balances have significant value in curbing fiscal pressures even when the politics is representative but undisciplined, and when long-term structural forces are unfavourable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-739
Number of pages51
JournalEconomic Policy
Volume21
Issue number48
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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