Dictionary of Arguments

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Mause I 285
Democratic Institutions/Parliamentarism/Presidential System/Fiscal Policy/Tabellini/Persson: Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini compared parliamentary and presidential systems with regard to their fiscal policies (Persson & Tabellini 1999) (1) (Persson & Tabellini 2000) (2)
Presidential system: here the government is not dependent on its own ((s) parliamentary) majority for its continued existence. The agenda is set primarily in parliamentary committees.
Parliamentarianism: here the agenda is mainly determined by the government. However, this depends on the fact that it has a majority in Parliament.
Presidential system: In a game theory model, Persson and Tabellini showed that in a presidential system parlamentarians will agree on low taxes, a low supply of public goods and low redistribution expenditure in favour of a minority of voters. The reason: parlamentarians feel more committed to their constituencies than to the government. They are also more in competition with each other.
Parliamentary system: here there is a majority coalition of parlamentarians who do not compete with each other and can therefore agree jointly on the level of expenditure and taxation. This leads to higher taxation, higher expenditure on public goods and redistribution expenditure than under a presidential regime.


1.Torsten Persson &Guido Tabellini. 1999. The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians. European Economic Review 43( 4– 6): 699– 735.
2.Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini. 2000. Political economics. Explaining economic policy. Cambridge 2000.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconPerss I
Torsten Persson
Guido Tabellini
The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians 1999

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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