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The authors present a model in which a conservative incumbent with preferences for low public spending can strategically run a budget deficit to prevent the left-wing opposition candidate from choosing high public spending if elected, and possibly also to ensure his own reelection. They find that the incumbent never manipulates the opposition candidate's public spending if he can ensure his reelection; and that a conservative incumbent who runs a budget deficit to ensure his reelection may somewhat paradoxically choose high public spending before the election.
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