I am indebted to Ingvar Mattson and Magnus Isberg from the Swedish Riksdag for their support and facilitating access to data. Linnea Jonsson and Man Yan Eng provided excellent research assistance. An earlier version was presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. I thank Christian Breunig, Man Yan Eng, Cassie Grafström, Mark Hallerberg, Magnus Isberg, Ingvar Mattson, Roy Meyers, Shanna Rose, and three anonymous reviewers for comments.
Electoral Budget Cycles in Legislatures
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Comparative Legislative Research Center of The University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 545–570, November 2013
How to Cite
Wehner, J. (2013), Electoral Budget Cycles in Legislatures. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 38: 545–570. doi: 10.1111/lsq.12027
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2013
This article examines electoral cycles in legislative budget decisions. Where local structures play an important role in candidate selection and election, legislators' incentives to amend the executive spending proposal can depend on the proximity of elections, leading to more spendthrift behavior in the run-up to popular votes. However, stringent budget institutions can counteract this tendency. Using a unique dataset of executive spending proposals and approved budgets in Sweden, I find strong empirical support for these predictions. Future studies of electoral cycles should pay greater attention to separating the contributions of the legislative and executive stages of the budgetary process and the conditions that foster electoral cyclicality in legislatures.