Skip to content

Date archive for: August 2015

The Policy Impact of Economic Development: Clientelism and Political Budget Cycles

Written by Francesco Stolfi

Political Budget Cycles (PBCs), namely the manipulation of taxation or government spending close to elections, are an enduring topic in the study of economic policy-making. The literature explains PBCs based on the fact that politicians are better informed than most voters and thus can use the manipulation of fiscal variables to essentially fool the public into thinking they are more efficient than they actually are. In a recent article in the Journal of European Public Policy, Mark Hallerberg and I propose a quite different explanation, one that does not depend on voters being naïve. Rather, we argue that a source of variation in the extent of PBCs is, via the effect of clientelism, the level of economic development.

Continue reading The Policy Impact of Economic Development: Clientelism and Political Budget Cycles

European Better Regulation between Populism and Technocracy

Written by Francesco Stolfi

To what extent do policies decided at the European Union (EU) level actually get implemented by its member states? This fundamental question is not easy to answer. In fact, most work in the vast literature on the implementation of EU policies confines itself to studying the degree of formal transposition of EU legislation. In our  recent article in Comparative European Politics, The implementation of administrative burden reduction policy: Mechanisms and contexts in the study of Europeanization,  Fabrizio Di Mascio, Alessandro Natalini and I go a step further, analysing the extent of change in the behaviour of domestic actors and in actual policy outcomes resulting from the EU initiatives for better regulation (reducing the regulatory burden on citizens and firms) between 2007 and 2014. The article focuses on the four largest continental member states (France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

Continue reading European Better Regulation between Populism and Technocracy