Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 9: Political Cycles and Cyclical Policies. A New Test Approach Using Fiscal Forecasts

Henry Ohlsson and Anders Vredin ()
Additional contact information
Anders Vredin: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We test how government revenue and expenditure depend on economic activity, elections, and ideology. We show how the use of fiscal forecasts makes it possible better to understand the determinants of fiscal variables and to separate fiscal policy rules from discretionary policies. The approach is illustrated using a unique, unpublished Swedish data set of fiscal forecasts and forecasts of economic activity. Revenue varies positively with nominal earnings, expenditure varies negatively with real GDP. We find partisan effects, but no political business cycle effects. Revenue and expenditure are lower with non-Social democratic governments. The partisan effect on revenue is stronger than on expenditure. Using another unique data set, we find that there are autonomous decisions behind the reaction of expenditure, but not of revenue, to activity.

Keywords: Fiscal forecasts; fiscal policy; policy reaction functions; feedback; autonomous decisions; partisan theories; political business cycles

JEL-codes: E62; H60

41 pages, January 1994

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Helena Lundin ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-03-27 10:24:36.