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Voting suffrage and the political budget cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937.

Aidt TS, Mooney G - J Public Econ (2014)

Bottom Line: We study the opportunistic political budget cycle in the London Metropolitan Boroughs between 1902 and 1937 under two different suffrage regimes: taxpayer suffrage (1902-1914) and universal suffrage (1921-1937).We argue and find supporting evidence that the political budget cycle operates differently under the two types of suffrage.Universal suffrage, where all adult residents can vote irrespective of their taxpayer status, creates demands for productive public services and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year hikes in capital spending and a reduction in current spending.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Economics, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DD, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

We study the opportunistic political budget cycle in the London Metropolitan Boroughs between 1902 and 1937 under two different suffrage regimes: taxpayer suffrage (1902-1914) and universal suffrage (1921-1937). We argue and find supporting evidence that the political budget cycle operates differently under the two types of suffrage. Taxpayer suffrage, where the right to vote and the obligation to pay local taxes are linked, encourages demands for retrenchment and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year tax cuts and savings on administration costs. Universal suffrage, where all adult residents can vote irrespective of their taxpayer status, creates demands for productive public services and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year hikes in capital spending and a reduction in current spending.

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Capital expenditure (£ per 1000 capita) in London Metropolitan Boroughs before and after World War I.
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f0015: Capital expenditure (£ per 1000 capita) in London Metropolitan Boroughs before and after World War I.

Mentions: The average trends hide substantial cross sectional variation: some boroughs spent, taxed and borrowed much more than others. The dispersion is particularly large with regard to capital expenditures (and income) where the standard deviation is about twice as large as the mean values (see Table 3). We visualize this dispersion in Maps 1–3. Each map consists of two panels, one for the pre-war and for the post-war period, and colour codes the spatial distribution of rate income (Map 1), current expenditure (Map 2) and capital expenditure (Map 3). There is a consistent spatial pattern of high-tax–high-current-spending in north-west London, including Westminster, Holborn, St. Marylebone, and Hampstead, and Woolwich in the south-east. These are also the areas with high levels of capital expenditure under taxpayer suffrage. After the change to universal suffrage in 1918 there is a marked shift in capital expenditure to the east and south-east of London, with Poplar, Bermondsey and Greenwich standing out as big spenders. Much political debate was generated after the First World War about the high-rating and -spending policies of east end Labour councils such as Poplar. Leaders of the Labour Party in London were worried that this approach would alienate potential middle-class support in other parts of the capital (Gillespie, 1989).


Voting suffrage and the political budget cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937.

Aidt TS, Mooney G - J Public Econ (2014)

Capital expenditure (£ per 1000 capita) in London Metropolitan Boroughs before and after World War I.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4375611&req=5

f0015: Capital expenditure (£ per 1000 capita) in London Metropolitan Boroughs before and after World War I.
Mentions: The average trends hide substantial cross sectional variation: some boroughs spent, taxed and borrowed much more than others. The dispersion is particularly large with regard to capital expenditures (and income) where the standard deviation is about twice as large as the mean values (see Table 3). We visualize this dispersion in Maps 1–3. Each map consists of two panels, one for the pre-war and for the post-war period, and colour codes the spatial distribution of rate income (Map 1), current expenditure (Map 2) and capital expenditure (Map 3). There is a consistent spatial pattern of high-tax–high-current-spending in north-west London, including Westminster, Holborn, St. Marylebone, and Hampstead, and Woolwich in the south-east. These are also the areas with high levels of capital expenditure under taxpayer suffrage. After the change to universal suffrage in 1918 there is a marked shift in capital expenditure to the east and south-east of London, with Poplar, Bermondsey and Greenwich standing out as big spenders. Much political debate was generated after the First World War about the high-rating and -spending policies of east end Labour councils such as Poplar. Leaders of the Labour Party in London were worried that this approach would alienate potential middle-class support in other parts of the capital (Gillespie, 1989).

Bottom Line: We study the opportunistic political budget cycle in the London Metropolitan Boroughs between 1902 and 1937 under two different suffrage regimes: taxpayer suffrage (1902-1914) and universal suffrage (1921-1937).We argue and find supporting evidence that the political budget cycle operates differently under the two types of suffrage.Universal suffrage, where all adult residents can vote irrespective of their taxpayer status, creates demands for productive public services and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year hikes in capital spending and a reduction in current spending.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Economics, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DD, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

We study the opportunistic political budget cycle in the London Metropolitan Boroughs between 1902 and 1937 under two different suffrage regimes: taxpayer suffrage (1902-1914) and universal suffrage (1921-1937). We argue and find supporting evidence that the political budget cycle operates differently under the two types of suffrage. Taxpayer suffrage, where the right to vote and the obligation to pay local taxes are linked, encourages demands for retrenchment and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year tax cuts and savings on administration costs. Universal suffrage, where all adult residents can vote irrespective of their taxpayer status, creates demands for productive public services and the political budget cycle manifests itself in election year hikes in capital spending and a reduction in current spending.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus