Voters' Commitment Problem and Welfare-Program Reforms

D.A. Hollanders, B. Vis

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This paper proposes that reforms by vote-seeking governments and the existence of reform-adverse voters are logically compatible. This results from a commitment problem on the part of voters. Due to economic voting voters cannot credibly commit to reelect a non-reforming government during a recession. The empirical implication of this voter commitment mechanism is that governments only adopt visible welfare-program reforms during economic lows, which is what the empirical political-economic literature has established.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Commitment
  • Political Economy
  • Reform
  • Welfare-Programs


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