La revista semanal Qué Pasa publicada el 21 de octubre de 2016 recoge en su sección Ojo de la Llave (pág. 10, ver Aquí) el estudio ‘Ciclos de negocios y política indirectos: evidencia de municipalidades en Chile‘ del que es co-autor el economista y académico del Departamento de Economía UDP Alejandro Corvalán.
El estudio -cuyos otros co-autores son Paulo Cox (Banco Central de Chile) y Rodrigo Osorio (U. de Santiago de Chile)- analiza si el Gobierno transfiere más recursos a los municipios en años electorales. A pocos días de las elecciones municipales 2016 en Chile, este tema cobra relevancia. A continuación va un resumen del estudio.
Indirect Political Business Cycles: Evidence for Chilean Municipalities
Alejandro Corvalan (UDP), Paulo Cox (BCCH) and Rodrigo Osorio (USACH)
In this paper we show evidence of a political budget cycle during municipal elections in Chile. As opposed to much of the literature on political budget cycles, ours consists of an indirect political budget cycle. We show that during municipal election years, incumbent national governments manipulate transfers to local (municipal) governments to influence their reelection prospects, thus influencing their own reelection prospects, which in most cases occur a year later. Transfers are allocated to municipalities in Chile through the Ministry of Regional Development (Subsecretaría de Desarrollo Regional), at the central level, following soft budgetary constraints and discretionary allocation. Using a panel composed of 365 municipalities and 13 years, throughout which 3 municipal and 3 presidential elections took place, we show robust evidence that transfers to municipalities increase by as much as 10% during local election years, and that this increase is larger and significant when incumbent local governments are politically aligned with the incumbent national government. We also show evidence that suggests the fiscal manipulation of other budgetary spending, for example in the areas of health and education.