Politická ekonomie
Politická ekonomie
Prague Economic Papers
University of Economics, Prague

Prague Economic Papers Vol. 21 No. 3

The Weber-Fechner Law and Public Expenditures Impact to the Win-Margins at Parliamentary Elections

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18267/j.pep.425

[full text (PDF)]

Paulo Jorge Reis Mourao

This paper discusses the electoral implications of psychological motivation on voting functions. We tested a claim of the Weber-Fechner law as applied to electoral behaviour-specifically, that an expanded public sector leads politicians to make more significant, opportunistic distortions of public expenditures than the distortions observed when the public sector is diminished. We employed a system of simultaneous equations to test this hypothesis for cases observed in more than sixty democracies since 1960. We gave a special focus to the cases of Central and Eastern European countries. Our results confirm the main implications of the Weber-Fechner law. Years in incumbency, running for re-election, higher unemployment and higher inflation rates tend to generate negative moods, feelings and affects in the electorate; thus, these factors tend to approximate the vote share of the most voted party to the remaining vote share of the challenger political forces.

Keywords: Central and Eastern European economies, voting, Weber-Fechner law

JEL Classification: D03, D72, P20

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