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The Impact of Within-Party and Between-Party Ideological Dispersion on Fiscal Outcomes: Evidence from Swiss Cantonal Parliaments

Tjasa Bjedov, Simon Lapointe () and Thierry Madiès
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Tjasa Bjedov: University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Thierry Madiès: University of Fribourg, Switzerland

No 1435, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure

Abstract: The impact of the fragmentation of executive and legislative bodies on the level and composition of government expenditure is a political feature that attracted considerable attention from economists. However, previous authors have abstracted from two important concepts : ideology and intra-party politics. In this paper, we explicitly account for these two phenomenons, and make two main contributions. First, we show that both intra-party and interparty ideological dispersion matters in the level of public spending. Therefore, it is incorrect to consider parties as monolithic entities. We also show that ideological dispersion matters especially for current expenditures, and not so much for investment expenditures. To do so, we construct a panel database (2003 to 2011) including data from a survey that quantifies the policy preferences of individual party members that were candidates to federal elections in Switzerland.

Keywords: Political Fragmentation; Public Spending; Political Parties; Ideology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H72 D78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2014
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Related works:
Journal Article: The impact of within-party and between-party ideological dispersion on fiscal outcomes: evidence from Swiss cantonal parliaments (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: The impact of within-party and between-party ideological dispersion on fiscal outcomes: evidence from Swiss cantonal parliaments (2014) Downloads
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