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Mayors, Using Cultural Expenditure in An Opportunistic Way Improves the Chances of Re-Election, but Do Not Do It: Revisiting Political Budget Cycles

Jordi Sanjuán (), Pau Rausell (), Vicente Coll () and Raül Abeledo ()
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Jordi Sanjuán: Research Unit in Economics of Culture and Tourism, Department of Applied Economics, University of València, Av. Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Pau Rausell: Research Unit in Economics of Culture and Tourism, Department of Applied Economics, University of València, Av. Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Vicente Coll: Research Unit in Economics of Culture and Tourism, Department of Applied Economics, University of València, Av. Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Raül Abeledo: Research Unit in Economics of Culture and Tourism, Department of Applied Economics, University of València, Av. Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 21, 1-15

Abstract: This article analyzes whether expenditure on the provision of merit goods, culture, health, education, and sports, by local governments, in medium-sized cities (between 20,000 and 100,000 inhabitants) is tied to the electoral cycle; that is, whether expenditure increases in the run up to an electoral process. Further, we analyze whether the increase in spending on Culture by local governments has any significant effect on the probability of local governments being re-elected. To answer these questions, a database of 350 medium-sized municipalities is used comprising the period 2011 to 2019, when two municipal elections were held in Spain; in 2015 and in 2019. The results confirm that both total spending and spending on culture and sports, are tied to the electoral cycle, while expenditure on other merit goods is not. Moreover, using a logit model, it is confirmed that an increase in culture expenditure has a significant effect on the probability of the government being re-elected. Specifically, a one-third increase in cultural expenditure, as a proportion of total expenditure (e.g., passing from 6% to 8%) at local government level, improves re-election chances by almost 10%.

Keywords: political business cycle; local government; cultural policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:21:p:9095-:d:438460

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