Endogenous Election Timings and Political Business Cycles in Japan
This paper constructs a theoretical model of political
business cycles in a Parliamentary system and tests predictions
and hypotheses of a theoretical model against the post-war
Japanese data. Unlike in a presidential system, the timing of a
general election is an endogenous policy variable in a
parliamentary system. Thus, one of the interesting questions in a
parliamentary system is whether elections cause business cycles
or economic expansions trigger general elections.
Empirical analyses of the post-war Japanese experience
strongly indicate that the Japanese government did not manipulate
policies in anticipation of approaching elections as political
business cycle theories in a presidential system indicate.
Instead, general elections were usually held during times of
autonomous economic expansion. In other words, the Japanese
government opportunistically manipulated the timing of elections
rather than the economy.
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