Political Factors Behind Cuts and Surges in Government Spending: The Effects on Old Market Democracies and Post-Communist Countries

Konstantin Yanovskiy, Sergei Zhavoronkov & Kirill Rodionov (2017) Political Factors behind Cuts and Surges in Government Spending, Problems of Economic Transition, 59:4, 294-320, DOI: 10.1080/10611991.2017.1321418

39 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2015 Last revised: 28 Sep 2020

See all articles by Konstantin Yanovskiy

Konstantin Yanovskiy

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research

Sergei Zhavoronkov

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

Kirill Rodionov

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

Date Written: December 26, 2015

Abstract

Surges and cuts are explained here by some of the political factors affecting governments' abilities to balance the budget broadly discussed in the literature. We focus on territorial separatism, minority government, grand coalition, single-party government, and the ruling party's ideology. Special attention is paid to the phenomenon of universal suffrage, which has caused the rise to power of modern left-wing parties and strong special interest groups within the bureaucracy.

Most political factors turn out to be time- and case-sensitive except for universal suffrage. A severe crisis can open the window of opportunity to cut public expenditure, while favorable economic conditions stimulate claims for redistribution and spikes in government spending. The most effective way to curb the instability of public finance is to strengthen pro-reformist political coalitions, claiming defense of national identity and moral values, that encourage austerity and are market-friendly.

Here is an unedited version of the paper published as Political Factors behind Cuts and Surges in Government Spending, Problems of Economic Transition, 59:4, 294-320, DOI: 10.1080/10611991.2017.1321418

Keywords: Separatism, political competition, budget deficit, universal suffrage, window of opportunity

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H11, H62, N40

Suggested Citation

Yanovskiy, Konstantin (Moshe) and Zhavoronkov, Sergei and Rodionov, Kirill, Political Factors Behind Cuts and Surges in Government Spending: The Effects on Old Market Democracies and Post-Communist Countries (December 26, 2015). Konstantin Yanovskiy, Sergei Zhavoronkov & Kirill Rodionov (2017) Political Factors behind Cuts and Surges in Government Spending, Problems of Economic Transition, 59:4, 294-320, DOI: 10.1080/10611991.2017.1321418, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708533 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2708533

Konstantin (Moshe) Yanovskiy (Contact Author)

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research ( email )

Kley Shir 8
Karney Shomron, 44855

Sergei Zhavoronkov

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy ( email )

3-5 Gazetny Lane
Moscow, 125009
Russia

Kirill Rodionov

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy ( email )

3-5 Gazetny Lane
Moscow, 125009
Russia

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