Are there political budget cycles in the Euro area?

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Series Details Vol.7, No.2, June 2006, p191-211
Publication Date June 2006
ISSN 1465-1165
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This article examines whether there is a political budget cycle (PBC) in countries in the euro area. Using a multivari ate model for 1999-2004 and various election indicators we find strong evidence that, since the start of the Stability and Growth Pact, fiscal policy-makers in the euro area have pursued expansionary policies before elections. In an elec tion year – but not in the year prior to the election – the budget deficit increases. This result is in line with third-generation PBC models, which are based on moral hazard. We also find a significant but small partisan effect on fiscal policy outcomes.

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