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Quantifying the Impact of Political Frictions on Public Policy

Grechyna, Daryna (2015): Quantifying the Impact of Political Frictions on Public Policy.

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Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of political frictions on fiscal policy in a sample of developed countries. We use a model of fiscal policy that features a lack of commitment by the government, political turnover, and another political friction which can be interpreted either as political polarization or as public rent-seeking. Political turnover increases public debt levels, while political polarization or public rent-seeking lead to higher public spending. We find that political frictions account for 67% of variation in government debt, 36% of variation in government spending, and 24% of variation in taxes in twenty two developed countries.

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