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Special interest groups and the allocation of public funds

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  • Singhal, Monica

Abstract

I propose a fully rational model of government contracting that explains differences in local government spending from grants and other income. In this model, violations of fungibility arise from dynamic interactions between politicians and interest groups with the ability to raise funds for the local government. The predictions of the model are tested by exploiting unique features of windfalls received by states under a settlement with the tobacco industry. Although windfalls are legally unrestricted, the median state increased spending on tobacco control programs from zero to $2.30Â per capita upon receipt of funds. The marginal propensity to spend on such programs is 0.20 from settlement revenue and zero from overall income. States which were not involved in the settlement lawsuits spend less. These results cannot be explained by existing models in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 548-564

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:548-564

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Dougan, William R & Kenyon, Daphne A, 1988. "Pressure Groups and Public Expenditures: The Flypaper Effect Reconsidered," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 159-70, January.
  2. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  3. Hamilton, Bruce W., 1983. "The flypaper effect and other anomalies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 347-361, December.
  4. Bradford, David F & Oates, Wallace E, 1971. "An Analysis of Revenue Sharing in a New Approach to Collective Fiscal Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 416-39, August.
  5. Hamilton, Jonathan H., 1986. "The flypaper effect and the deadweight loss from taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 148-155, March.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  7. Evans, William N. & Owens, Emily G., 2007. "COPS and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 181-201, February.
  8. Matthew C. Farrelly & Terry F. Pechacek & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2001. "The Impact of Tobacco Control Program Expenditures on Aggregate Cigarette Sales: 1981-1998," NBER Working Papers 8691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  10. Moffitt, Robert A., 1984. "The effects of grants-in-aid on state and local expenditures : The case of AFDC," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-305, April.
  11. Farrelly, Matthew C. & Pechacek, Terry F. & Chaloupka, Frank J., 2003. "The impact of tobacco control program expenditures on aggregate cigarette sales: 1981-2000," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 843-859, September.
  12. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  13. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
  14. Baicker, Katherine, 2001. "Government decision-making and the incidence of federal mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 147-194, November.
  15. Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 1992. "Fiscal illusion, uncertainty, and the flypaper effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 207-223, July.
  16. Grossman, Philip J, 1994. " A Political Theory of Intergovernmental Grants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 295-303, March.
  17. Gordon, Nora, 2004. "Do federal grants boost school spending? Evidence from Title I," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1771-1792, August.
  18. Bradford, David F & Oates, Wallace E, 1971. "Towards a Predictive Theory of Intergovernmental Grants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 440-48, May.
  19. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
  20. Fisher, Ronald C., 1982. "Income and grant effects on local expenditure: The flypaper effect and other difficulties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 324-345, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Additionality and regional development: are EU Structural Funds complements or substitutes of national Public Finance?," Working Papers 201101, Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL).
  2. Faber, Riemer & Koning, Pierre, 2012. "Why Not Fully Spend a Conditional Block Grant?," IZA Discussion Papers 6712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2013. "Macro Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: States as Agents," NBER Working Papers 19559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ionita Predescu Lorena & Radu Florin & Tabirca Alina Iuliana, 2011. "Needs Of Local Sustainable Development," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 91-97, December.
  5. Gary D. Libecap & Terry L. Anderson, 2009. "The Allocation and Dissipation of Resource Rents: Implications for Fishery Reform," ICER Working Papers 13-2009, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  6. Fernando Aragon, 2012. "Local Spending, Transfers and Costly Tax Collection," Discussion Papers dp12-09, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  7. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2013. "Are state governments roadblocks to federal stimulus? Evidence from highway grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," Working Paper Series 2013-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Byron F. Lutz, 2006. "Taxation with representation: intergovernmental grants in a plebiscite democracy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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