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Electoral System and Public Spending Gian Maria Maria Milesi-Ferretti

Electoral System and Public Spending

Gian Maria Maria Milesi-Ferretti

Published January 1st 2001
ISBN : 9786613785480
ebook
46 pages
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 About the Book 

In modern democracies, elected representatives making decisions on fiscal policy face a basic trade-off: that between allegiance to a social constituency and allegiance to a geographic constituency. Elected officials represent a specific district,MoreIn modern democracies, elected representatives making decisions on fiscal policy face a basic trade-off: that between allegiance to a social constituency and allegiance to a geographic constituency. Elected officials represent a specific district, but also typically advance the interests of specific social groups that spread across many districts or the whole nation. This trade-off is relevant to fiscal policymaking because it parallels the distinction between the two main types of government spending: transfers and purchases of goods and services.1 The former are mostly targeted to groups of individuals with certain social characteristics, such as the unemployed and the elderly- the scope for targeting them geographically is therefore limited. The latter (which we will call public goods for brevity) instead are typically targeted along geographical lines.