DEMOCRACY, POLITICAL COMPETITION AND PUBLIC DEBT
Keywords:reputation, political competition, time preference, markets, social spending, public debt
AbstractThere are two major preferences shaping political choices: one, regarding who should play the leading role in running the economy (markets or politicians) and the other, concerning social spending. According to reputation, leftist parties assign the leading role to politicians (i.e. the state), whereas rightist parties entrust markets with the central role in running the economy. Right-wing parties’ reputation of not favoring social spending is not backed by facts. Since both the left and the right display similar behaviors vis-à-vis social spending, it is preferable that markets play the central role in running the economy. Flexible markets help economic growth and employment, reducing the need for high social spending. The freedom of property and freedom from corruption indexes show that, in Romania, the market has never played the central role in running the economy. People’s prevailing concern over their wellbeing “now” rather than “tomorrow” generates competition among political right and left for higher social spending, leading to high public debt. Neither left, nor right can guarantee sustainable limits for social benefits and public debt. Capping the share of public debt in GDP by means of the Constitution provides no guarantee for public debt sustainability, but is worth a try.
Blundell, J. (2008), Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady, New York: ALGORA Publishing,
Croitoru, L. (2013a), Sfârșitul reglementării și ultimul reglementator, Bucureşti: Curtea Veche Publishing, 31-55.
Croitoru, L. (2013b), Cum își poate salva un prim ministru țara, www.hotnews.ro.
Croitoru, L. (2013c), The Euro Zone: An Inconvenient Truth, Romanian Journal of Economic Forecast, Vol. XVI, N0. 2/2013, 193-210.
Cúrdia, V. &Woodford, M.(2009), Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy, BIS Working Papers No 278 (March).
Eggertsson, G. & Krugman, P. (2010), Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach, Princeton.
Eggertsson, B. G. & Mehrotra, R. N. (2014), A Model of Secular Stagnation,
Goodhart, C. (2010), The Changing Role of Central Banks, BIS Working Paper 326, Bank for International Settlements.
Greider, W. (1989), Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, Simon and Schuster.
Gerber, A.S., Huber, G.A. , Doherty, D., Dowling C.M. &Ha, S.E. (2010),
Pesonality and political attitudes: Relationship across issue domains and political contexts. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., 104, 111-133.
Greenspan, A (2013), The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting, Penguin Books.
Haldane, A.G; Madouros, V. (2012), The Dog and the Frisbee, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City`s 36th Economic Policy Symposium The Changing Policy Landscape, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 31 August.
Hersh, E (2012), Primary Voters Versus Caucus Goers and the Peripheral Motivations of Political Participation, Political Behavior 34(4), 689-718.
Healy, A. J.; Malhotra, N.; Hyunjung Mo, C. (2010), Irrelevant Events Affect Voters Evaluation of Government Performance, wwwpnas.org/cgi/doi/10.10.1073/pnas.1007420107.
Heritage Foundation (2015), Index of Economic Freedom, http://www.heritage.org/index.
Iacoviello, M. & Neri, S. (2010), Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 2, April, 125–164.
Kahneman,, D.; Tversky,, A. (1984), "Choices, Values, and Frames", American Psychologist 39 (4), 341–350.
Kahneman,, D.; Tversky,, A. (1991), "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model". The Quarterly Journal of Economics 106 (4), 1039–106.
Kuehnelt-Leddihn, E. von (1988), Democracy’s Road to Tyranny, The Freeman Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. May, Vol. 38, No. 5.
Miller, P. R. (2011), The Emotional Citizen: Emotion as a Function of Political Sophistication. Political Psychology 32 (4), 575–600.
Minsky, Hyman P (1982), Stabilizing an Unstable Economy: A Twentieth Century Fund Report, Yale University Press.
Minsky, H. P (1993), The Financial Stability Hypothesis, Working Paper N0. 74 (May 1992), Radical Political Economy, Philip Arestis and Malcolm Swayer (eds.) Edward Elgar.
Mises, L.von (2008), Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (The Scholar’s Edition), Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama.
Muntean, I. (2014a), Explicarea încrederii în Parlamentul României prin teoria elitelor, Revista Transilvană de Stiințe Administrative, 2 (33)/2013, 119-137.
Muntean, I. (2014b), Recrutarea și selecția de către partide a candidaților pentru alegerile legislative. O analiză a calității elitelor parlamentare românești, Ph. D. thesis, School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest.
Panagopoulos, C. (2010) Affect, Social Pressure and Prosocial Motivation: Field Experimental Evidence of the Mobilizing Effects of Pride, Shame, and Publicizing Voting Behavior. Political Behavior 32 (3), 369–386.
Plato (1852), The Republic (translation by John Llewelyn Davies and David James Vaughan), Book VIII, Wordsworth Classics of World Literature.
Preda, M. (1994). Partidele politice din România: clasificare şi relaţii parlamentare Revista de Cercetări Sociale No. 3, p. 3 and p.6.
Rock, M. T. (2007). Corruption and Democracy, DESA Working Paper No. 55, ST/ESA/2007/DWP/55 (August).
Shane, F.; Loewenstein, G.; O’ Donoghue, T.(2002),Time Discounting and time Preference: A Critical Review”, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. XL (June 2002), 351-401.
Szelényi, I. & Szelényi, S. (1995), Circulation or Reproduction of Elites During Post-Communist Transformation in Russia and Eastern Europe. University of California, Los Angeles.
The Economist, What’s Gone Wrong with Democracy?, March 1st 2014, 43
Ushistory.org (2015), What Factors Shape Political Attitudes?, American Government Online Textbook. http://www.ushistory.org/gov/4b.asp.
Valentino, N.A.; Hutchings, V. L.; Banks, A. J.; Davis, A. K. (2010). Is a Worried Citizen a Good Citizen? Emotions, Political Information Seeking, and Learning viathe Internet. Political Psychology 29 (2), 247–273.
Kolstad, I.; Wiig, A. (2011). Does democracy reduce corruption? Chr. Michelsen Institute Working Paper, 4.