NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments

Alberto F. Alesina, Dorian Carloni, Giampaolo Lecce

NBER Working Paper No. 17655
Issued in December 2011
NBER Program(s):   PE   POL

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17655

Published: The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments, Alberto Alesina, Dorian Carloni, Giampaolo Lecce. in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, Alesina and Giavazzi. 2013

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