Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 559084
Title Subsidizing power
Author(s) Klomp, Jeroen
Source Scottish Journal of Political Economy (2019). - ISSN 0036-9292
Department(s) Development Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) elections - fossil fuel subsidies - political budget cycles

This study explores whether the amount of fossil fuel subsidies paid by the government is subject to an election cycle. Theoretically, it is not a priori directly clear whether the provision of fossil fuel subsidies should go up or down when elections are upcoming. On the one hand, governments may reap electoral benefits from offering additional support in an election year since voters generally prefer candidates from whom they expect to receive greater material well-being by reducing the prices of basic goods. On the other hand, if the number of recipients is only small or when they are politically not well organized, reducing fossil fuel subsidies to finance a tax cut or an increase in other public spending areas that benefit and attract more voters might be a more successful re-election strategy. My main empirical findings clearly show a U-shaped election effect. It turns out that election cycles encourage fossil fuel support only in countries that have either a large or small fossil fuel demand. In these countries, governments are more inclined to provide additional fossil fuel support in an election year. In turn, I do not find any significant evidence for the notion that upcoming elections create a window of opportunity to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. Finally, the significant election effects are in particular visible during presidential elections.

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