The Effects of Local Elections on National Military Spending: A Cross-country Study
Defence and Peace Economics,
In this paper, we study the domestic political determinants of military spending. Our conceptual framework suggests that power distribution over local and central governments influences the government provision of national public goods, in our context, military expenditure. Drawing on a large cross-country panel, we demonstrate that having local elections will decrease a country’s military expenditure markedly, controlling for other political and economic variables. According to our preferred estimates, a country’s military expenditure is on average 20% lower if its state government officials are locally elected, which is consistent with our theoretical prediction.
The Political Determinants of Sovereign Bond Yield Spreads
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper analyzes the political determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads using data for 27 emerging markets in the period 1996 to 2009. I find strong evidence that countries with parliamentary systems (as opposed to presidential regimes) and a low quality of governance face higher sovereign yield spreads, while the degree of democracy and elections play no significant role. A higher degree of political stability and the power to implement austerity measures significantly reduce sovereign yield spreads particularly in autocratic regimes, while no significant effect is detected for democratic countries. Overall, political determinants have a more pronounced impact on sovereign bond yield spreads in autocratic and closed regimes than in democratic and open countries.
How does Institutional Setting Affect the Impact of EU Structural Funds on Economic Cohesion? New Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe
Journal of Common Market Studies,
Structural Funds are the main instrument of the EU Cohesion Policy. Their effective use is subject to an ongoing debate in political and scientific circles. European fiscal assistance under this heading should promote economic and social cohesion in the member states of the European Union. Recently the domestic institutional capacity to absorb, to distribute and to invest Structural Funds effectively has become a crucial determinant of the cohesion process and has attracted attention of the scientific community. The aim of this study is to shed light on the effectiveness of Structural Funds in the countries of the first Central and Eastern European enlargement round in 2004. Using regional data for these countries we have a look on the impact of several institutional governance variables on the effectiveness of Structural Funds. In the interpretation of results reference is made to regional economics. Results of the empirical analysis indicate an influence of certain institutional variables on the effectiveness of Structural Funds in the new member states.
An Economic Life in Vain − Path Dependence and East Germany’s Pre- and Post-Unification Economic Stagnation
IWH Discussion Papers,
20 years after unification, the East German twin’s economic position is relatively stagnant compared to most of the West German productivity and income variables. The strong initial takeoff until the mid-end 1990s ended at a level of 70% to 80% of the western reference. In this paper, two interdependent hypotheses are put to the test: (i) that the communist economy prior to unification was on a stagnating path contrary to what standard analyses show; (ii) that strong elements of path dependence exist and that the switch from plan to market offset the pre-unification stagnation but was not able to repair structural deficits inherited from the past. In fact, looking into West German long-term data, an extremely stable development path can be found that extends from the 19th century to the present. Thus, the analysis of the East German development path is both economically relevant and politically interesting if economic policies are to be formulated.