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Cabinet structure and fiscal policy outcomes

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A central explanation of fiscal performance focuses on the structure of the cabinet. However, the partisan context of cabinet decisions remains under-explored, the findings are based on small samples and the variables of interest are often poorly operationalised. Using a new dataset of spending ministers and partisan fragmentation in the cabinets of 58 countries between 1975 and 1998, this study finds a strong positive association between the number of spending ministers and budget deficits and expenditures, as well as weaker evidence that these effects increase with partisan fragmentation.

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