Coalition Governments, Cabinet Size, and the Common Pool Problem: Evidence from the German States

Center for European Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Paper No. 165, July 2013

61 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013

Date Written: July 12, 2013

Abstract

The theoretical literature on common pool problems in fiscal policy suggests that government fragmentation increases public expenditures. In parliamentary regimes, the fragmentation hypothesis refers to (i) coalition governments and (ii) cabinet size. This paper explores the effect of coalition governments and cabinet size on public expenditures with panel data covering all 16 German States over the period 1975-2010. Identification is facilitated by the large within-variation in the incidence of coalition governments and the size of the cabinet in the German States. In addition, I exploit a feature of state electoral laws to construct a credible instrument for the likelihood of coalition governments.

Keywords: Government fragmentation, common pool problems, coalition government, cabinet size, public expenditures

JEL Classification: D78, H61, H72

Suggested Citation

Baskaran, Thushyanthan, Coalition Governments, Cabinet Size, and the Common Pool Problem: Evidence from the German States (July 12, 2013). Center for European Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Paper No. 165, July 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2292992

Thushyanthan Baskaran (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

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