Bring Out the Steamrollers – It's Election Year Again!
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I test for the presence of election cycles within the budget composition in Swedish municipalities. I find that local governments increase expenditures that are visible to voters in election years. Other expenditures do not decrease, and as a consequence total spending increases. Budget balance is achieved by an increase in intergovernmental grants. I also find suggestive evidence that municipalities with the same political affiliation as the ruling central government receive more grants and spend more on visible expenditures.