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Rethinking public auditing institutions: Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities

Mark Schelker and Reiner Eichenberger
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Reiner Eichenberger: University of Fribourg, Switzerland; CREMA

No 2008/3, Working Papers from Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Abstract: In the economic literature various political institutions designed to control the government have been analyzed. However, an important institution has been neglected so far: independent auditing institutions with an extended mandate to analyze the budget draft and individual policy proposals. We argue that auditors with an extended mandate improve transparency and provide essential information on the impact of policy proposals on common pool resources. This leads to less wasteful spending and a more efficient allocation of public resources. We empirically analyze the policy impact of local auditors with an extended audit mandate in Switzerland. Auditors, who can evaluate and criticize policy proposals ex ante to policy decisions, significantly reduce the general tax burden and public expenditures. We find similar results with different datasets. These results are robust to various changes in the econometric specification

Keywords: Auditor; audit court; special interests; political economics; public finance. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D70 H10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2008
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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