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Political Leaders Socioeconomic Background and Public Budget Deficits: Evidence from OECD Countries

Bernd Hayo () and Florian Neumeier ()

MAGKS Papers on Economics from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung)

Abstract: This paper empirically analyses the relationship between political leaders socioeconomic backgrounds and public budget deficits utilising panel data on 21 OECD countries from 1980 to 2008. Building on sociological, as well as economic, research, we argue that the socioeconomic status of political decision-makers, i.e., presidents or prime ministers, is an important determinant of fiscal budget decisions. Our theory-consistent findings show that the tenures of lower-class leaders i.e., leaders of low socioeconomic status are associated with a deficit-to-GDP ratio which is 1.6 percentage points higher than that during tenures of upperclass leaders.

Keywords: Budget deficit; political leaders; socioeconomic status; time preference. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 H11 H62 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2013
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac, nep-pbe and nep-pol
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Journal Article: Political Leaders' Socioeconomic Background and Public Budget Deficits: Evidence from OECD Countries (2016) Downloads
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