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Allocating the US Federal Budget to the States: the Impact of the President

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  • Valentino Larcinese
  • Leonzio Rizzo
  • Cecilia Testa

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of the US federal budget allocation to the states. Departing from the existing literature that gives prominence to Congress, we carry on an empirical investigation on the impact of Presidents during the period 1982-2000. Our findings suggest that the distribution of federal outlays to the States is affected by presidential politics. First, presidential elections matter. States that heavily supported the incumbent President in past presidential elections tend to receive more funds, while marginal and swing states are not rewarded. Second, party affiliation also plays an important role since states whose governor has the same political affiliation of the President receive more federal funds, while states opposing the president's party in Congressional elections are penalized. These results show that presidents are engaged in tactical distribution of federal funds and also provide good evidence in support of partisan theories of budget allocation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 03.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:03

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

Related research

Keywords: Federal Budget; Pork-Barrell; President; Congress; Political Parties; Committees; American Elections;

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  1. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
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  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 103-119, January.
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  7. Alvarez, R Michael & Saving, Jason L, 1997. " Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 55-73, July.
  8. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor & John Joseph Wallis, 2002. "Can the New Deal's Three R's Be Rehabilitated? A Program-by-Program, County-by-County Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Wallis, John Joseph, 1987. "Employment, Politics, and Economic Recovery during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 516-20, August.
  10. Anderson, Gary M & Tollison, Robert D, 1991. "Congressional Influence and Patterns of New Deal Spending, 1933-1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-75, April.
  11. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 30-38, February.
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