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When the Party’s OverThe Politics of Fiscal Squeeze in Perspective$
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Christopher Hood, David Heald, and Rozana Himaz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265734

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265734.001.0001

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Comparing Fiscal Squeezes Across Nine Country Cases

Comparing Fiscal Squeezes Across Nine Country Cases

(p.27) 2 Comparing Fiscal Squeezes Across Nine Country Cases
When the Party’s Over

Rozana Himaz

Christopher Hood

British Academy

This chapter offers a systematic quantitative comparison of the nine country cases examined in the book. It uses reported spending and tax data to compare the depth and duration of those squeezes, and to show how far depth and duration vary according to whether squeeze is measured by tax and spending in constant prices or relative to GDP, and whether squeeze is measured in terms of spending cuts or tax increases. It shows there is no common set of financial, economic or political preconditions for fiscal squeezes in the nine cases. It also looks at the aftermath of fiscal squeezes in electoral and other outcomes, showing that political incumbents often but not always experienced loss of vote share or loss of office. It also shows that (contrary to common claims about the impact of fiscal squeeze) constitutional or major institutional change only followed fiscal squeeze in two of the cases.

Keywords:   Fiscal squeeze, preconditions, spending cuts, tax increases, electoral outcomes, constitutional change

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