Through disaggregating public expenditures by economic functions this paper offers a new perspective on the existence and effectiveness of electorally motivated expenditure policy. The aim of the paper is to provide more detailed information on the specific expenditure categories by which politicians try to affect election results. Based on COFOG data for 32 OECD and Eastern European countries over the years 1990-2010, it is shown that political expenditure cycles in total expenditures as well as in specific expenditure categories mainly exist in newly democratized Eastern European countries. However, the paper also provides evidence that these electorally motivated spending policies are ineffective means to enhance the reelection probability.
political expenditure cycle political economy re-election probability COFOG