Direct democracy as a safeguard to limit public spending

Patricia Funk, Christina Gathmann, 10 February 2012



The current debt crisis in Europe and North America raises the question of how to impose spending discipline on governments and politicians. A country with historically low government spending is Switzerland, which many argue is related to the high use of direct democracy.

Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Politics and economics
Tags: democracy, Eurozone crisis, Fiscal crisis, Switzerland

The growing international campaign against tax evasion

Bruce Blonigen, Lindsay Oldenski, Nicholas Sly, 26 November 2011



One of the few solid agreements that came out of the latest G20 summit in Cannes was that governments will increase their cooperative efforts to curb tax evasion.

Topics: International finance, International trade, Taxation
Tags: bilateral tax treaties, FDI, G20, Luxembourg, Switzerland, US

International liquidity provision during the financial crisis: A view from Switzerland

Raphael Auer, Sébastien Kraenzlin, 31 March 2011



In the years leading up to 2007, banks across the globe dramatically increased their balance-sheet exposure to foreign currencies. The result was a corresponding increase in demand for cross-border liquidity (see for example Behr et al. 2008, Puhr et al. 2009 and Brown et al. 2009).

Topics: Financial markets, Global crisis, International finance
Tags: Cross-border liquidity, financial regulation, Switzerland

What are Switzerland’s vulnerabilities?

Cédric Tille, 12 March 2009



One can expect Switzerland to be highly exposed to the ongoing global turmoil, as it is a small economy with extensive linkages to the rest of the world through trade and financial channels. Indeed, its growth performance has weakened substantially, with GDP contracting by 1.2% on an annualised basis in the fourth quarter.

Topics: Global crisis, International finance
Tags: counties in crisis, global crisis debate, Switzerland

Does direct democracy reduce the size of government?

Patricia Funk interviewed by Romesh Vaitilingam, 28 Nov 2008

Patricia Funk of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about her research on the impact of direct democracy on government spending, which draws on over a hundred years of data on the cantons of Switzerland. The interview was recorded at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Milan in August 2008.


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See Also

Related research here.


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Topics: Institutions and economics
Tags: democracy, government spending, Switzerland

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