DP1737 | Comparative Politics and Public Finance

Publication Date

30/11/1997

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Abstract

This paper presents a model of electoral accountability to compare the public finance outcomes under a presidential-congressional and a parliamentary system. In a presidential-congressional system, contrary to a parliamentary system, there are no endogenous incentives for legislative cohesion, but this allows for a clearer separation of powers. These features lead to clear differences in the public finance performance of the two systems. A parliamentary system has redistribution towards a majority, less underprovision of public goods, more waste and a higher burden of taxation, whereas a presidential-congressional system has redistribution towards a minority, more underprovision of public goods, but less waste and a smaller size of government.