Elections and UK government expenditure cycles in the 1980s: an empirical analysis

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This paper tests whether there exists any significant difference in the responsiveness of UK government expenditure policy to changes in national income and unemployment in pre- and post-election periods. The absence of such a political effect would see the national income and unemployment elasticities for government expenditure being uniform over an election period. The empirical analysis deliberately covers the three UK Conservative governments between 1979 and 1992 when academic debate on the implications of discretionary policy for the economy and social welfare were particularly prominent and when it appeared that political rhetoric concurred with the academic prescriptions.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/000368400322804

Publication date: February 20, 2000

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