Strategic transparency and electoral pressure
- This paper investigates how an office-motivated incumbent can use transparency enhancement on public spending to signal his budgetary management ability and win re-election. We show that when the incumbent faces a popular challenger, transparency policy can be an effective signaling device. A more popular challenger can reduce the probability to enhance transparency, while voters can be better off due to a more informative signaling. It is also shown that a higher level of public interest in fiscal issues can increase the probability of enhancing transparency, while voters can be worse off by a less informative signaling.