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Politicians’ coherence and government debt

Giorgio Bellettini () and Paolo Roberti ()
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Paolo Roberti: University of Bergamo

Public Choice, 2020, vol. 182, issue 1, No 4, 73-91

Abstract: Abstract We model a society that values coherence between the long-term commitment of politicians to given levels of public good provision and current policy. In that context, we suggest a novel mechanism by which issuing government debt can affect electoral results. Debt is exploited by an incumbent politician who favors a low level of public good supply, taking advantage of the cost paid by her opponent, who is committed to a higher level of supply. More public debt reduces voters’ preferred level of public good consumption and therefore are less likely to elect the opponent, given her commitment to a losing policy.

Keywords: Voting; Strategic debt; Commitment; Coherence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H63 D78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Politicians' coherence and government debt (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00669-5

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