Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Political ideology as a source of business cycles

marina, azzimonti (2010): Political ideology as a source of business cycles.

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Abstract

When the government must decide not only on broad public-policy programs but also on the provision of group-specific public goods, dynamic strategic inefficiencies arise. The struggle between opposing groups–that disagree on the composition of expenditures and compete for office–results in governments being endogenously short-sighted: systematic under-investment in infrastructure and overspending on public goods arises, as resources are more valuable when in power. This distorts allocations even under lump-sum taxation. Ideological biases create asymmetries in the group’s relative political power generating endogenous economic cycles in an otherwise deterministic environment. Volatility is non-monotonic in the size of the bias and is an additional source of inefficiency.

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