English, Article edition: Transparency and Economic Policy ALESSANDRO GAVAZZA; ALESSANDRO LIZZERI

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Physical Description
  • article
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Transparency and Economic Policy
Author
  • ALESSANDRO GAVAZZA
  • ALESSANDRO LIZZERI
Physical Description
  • article
Notes
  • We provide a two period model of political competition in which voters imperfectly observe the electoral promises made to other voters. Imperfect observability generates an incentive for candidates to offer excessive transfers even if voters are homogeneous and taxation is distortionary. Government spending is larger than in a world of perfect observability. Transfers are partly financed through government debt, and the size of the debt is higher in less transparent political systems. The model provides an explanation of fiscal churning; it also predicts that groups whose transfers are less visible to others receive higher transfers, and that imperfect transparency of transfers may lead to underprovision of public goods. From the policy perspective, the main novelty of our analysis is a separate evaluation of the transparency of spending and the transparency of revenues. We show that the transparency of the political system does not unambiguously improve efficiency: transparency of spending is beneficial, but transparency of revenues can be counterproductive because it endogenously leads to increased wasteful spending. Copyright Copyright © 2009 The Review of Economic Studies Limited.
  • RePEc:bla:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1023-1048
Language
  • English
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