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Testing public reaction to constitutional fiscal rules violations

Jaroslaw Kantorowicz, assistant professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, isolated the reaction of the public to the potential breach of constitutional fiscal rules from the reaction of other players, such as the opposition, media and civil society organizations.

Jaroslaw Kantorowicz
24 December 2022
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To test for the public reaction to constitutional fiscal rules violations, this study gathered data from three well-powered population-based survey experiments.

Contrary to the papers assessing the effectiveness of constitutional fiscal rules, which take the coordinated public response and resulting high political costs for breaching constitutional fiscal rules as given, this paper explicitly attempts to test this assumption. Hence, by looking at whether a potential violation of a constitutional fiscal rule (or rather a policy triggering this violation) brings more disapproval among the public than breaching a fiscal rule embedded in ordinary legislation, the author tests for the micro-foundations of constitutional fiscal rules. It is to stress that what this paper attempts to do is to isolate the public reaction to a potential violation of a constitutional rule from its reaction to violation of a statutory rule.

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