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With a Little Help from My Friends: Ministerial Alignment and Public Spending Composition in Parliamentary Democracies. LEQS Paper No. 133/2018 April 2018

Bojar, Abel (2018) With a Little Help from My Friends: Ministerial Alignment and Public Spending Composition in Parliamentary Democracies. LEQS Paper No. 133/2018 April 2018. [Discussion Paper]

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    The determinants of public spending composition have been studied from three broad perspectives in the scholarly literature: functional economic pressures, institutional constraints and party-political determinants. This paper engages with the third perspective by placing intra-governmental dynamics in the center of the analysis. Building on the portfolio allocation approach in the coalition formation literature and the common pool perspective in public budgeting, I argue that spending ministers with party-political backing from the Finance Minister or the Prime Minister are in a privileged positon to obtain extra funding for their policy jurisdictions compared to their colleagues without such support or without any partisan affiliation (non-partisan ministers). I test these propositions via a system of equations on six spending categories using seemingly unrelated regressions on a panel of 32 parliamentary democracies over two decades and offer largely supportive empirical evidence. With the exception of education, I provide evidence that budget shares accruing to key spending departments reflect this party-political logic of spending outcomes. In addition to the econometric results, I also illustrate the impact of ministerial alignment by short qualitative accounts from selected country cases.

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    Item Type: Discussion Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Public spending, budget composition, cabinet, ministers, coalition.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Austria
    Countries > Belgium
    Countries > Denmark
    Countries > Estonia
    Countries > Finland
    Countries > France
    Countries > Germany
    Countries > Greece
    Countries > Hungary
    Countries > Ireland
    Countries > Italy
    Countries > Latvia
    Countries > Lithuania
    Countries > Luxembourg
    Countries > Netherlands
    Countries > Norway
    Countries > Poland
    Countries > Portugal
    Countries > Romania
    Countries > Slovak Republic
    Countries > Slovenia
    Countries > Spain
    Countries > Sweden
    Countries > Switzerland
    Countries > U.K.
    Countries > Czech Republic
    Countries > Cyprus
    Countries > Malta
    Countries > Iceland
    Countries > Israel
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > budgets & financing
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > London School of Economics and Political Science (European Institute) > LEQS Discussion Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 15:44
    Number of Pages: 46
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 15:44

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