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Government accountability and fiscal discipline : a panel analysis using Swiss data

Torgler, Benno & Schaltegger, Christoph A. (2006) Government accountability and fiscal discipline : a panel analysis using Swiss data. Journal of Public Economics, 91(1-2), pp. 117-140.

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Abstract

Government accountability through electoral engagement, involvement and participation in the political debate can affect government performance. Using data for the full sample of Swiss cantons over the 1981–2001 period, this paper provides empirical evidence that government accountability is crucial for fiscal discipline. Specifically, in cantons with high levels of government accountability, the level of indebtedness is significantly lower, indicating that accountability supports fiscal discipline. To obtain a useful approximation for government accountability between citizens and their representatives, we use information from direct voter participation in political decisions (initiatives and public referenda) in Swiss state (cantonal) governments. Electoral support of government proposals reveals an important aspect of accountability in a real world setting.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 8075
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details: benno.torgler@qut.edu.au
Keywords: Government accountability, Fiscal performance, Indebtedness, Social capital
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2006.07.003
ISSN: 0047-2727
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Financial Economics (140207)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Elsevier
Deposited On: 13 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:30

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