Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Voters Hold Officials Accountable for Deficits in Many Countries. Just Not Here.

Wouldn’t it be nice if voters punished politicians who increase budget deficits? Well, according to one research paper, they do.

Adi Brender (Bank of Israel) and Allan Drazen (University of Maryland) crunched data from 23 nations on budgets and the electoral fortunes of chief executives. Their unambiguous finding was that “increased deficits during an incumbent’s term in office, especially in election years, reduce the probability that a leader is re-elected.” In what must be music to fiscal conservatives’ ears, the economists’ write, “Reducing deficits is not an electoral loser.”

Their analysis runs contrary to much of what we know about voters… (Read more at the Weekly Standard)

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