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Regional Grants as Pork Barrel Politics

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  • Kevin Milligan
  • Michael Smart

Abstract

We investigate the political and economic factors influencing the allocation of regional development grants for a panel of Canadian electoral districts in the 1988-2001 period. In a strong party system such as Canada’s, models of political competition predict little role for individual legislators, as party leaders allocate resources to maximize party success. While spending is targeted toward some “swing” districts, we do also find it is higher in districts represented by members of the government party, especially those in the federal Cabinet, and those of lower seniority. We develop a model featuring bargaining over legislative and non-legislative favours that is consistent with the evidence.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1453.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1453

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  1. Persson, T. & Roland, G. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Papers 633, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 545, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  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.
  4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  5. Eric Crampton, 2002. "Distributive Politics in a Strong Party System: Evidence from Canadian Job Grant Programs," Microeconomics 0211001, EconWPA.
  6. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  7. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Olivier Cadot & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Andreas Stephan, 2002. "Contribution to Productivity or Pork Barrel? The Two Faces of Infrastructure Investment," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  9. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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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Cited by:
  1. Jan Werner & Laurent Guihéry & Ognjen Djukic, 2006. "Fiscal Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ten Years after the Dayton Treatment and Still not in a Steady Condition," Working Papers 01-2006, Institute of Local Public Finance.
  2. Petra Ens, 2009. "Tax competition and equalization: the impact of voluntary cooperation on the efficiency goal," Working Papers 2009/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2005. "Sustaining Social Security," CESifo Working Paper Series 1494, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Chandler, Vincent, 2011. "The Canada economic action plan as electoral tool," MPRA Paper 33594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2012. "Reassessment of the Tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1063-1078.
  6. Valentino Larcinese & James M. Snyder (Jr.) & Cecilia Testa, 2006. "Testing models of distributive politics using exit polls to measure voter preferences and partisanship," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3605, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Marcelin Joanis, 2009. "The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-46, CIRANO.
  8. Albert Solé-Ollé, 2009. "Inter-Regional redistribution through infrastructure investment: tactical or programmatic?," Working Papers 2009/32, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  9. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences: Evidence from popular and parliamentary votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 585-610, June.
  10. Davide Luca & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Electoral politics and regional development. Assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey," Working Papers 1402, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
  11. Sengupta, Bodhisattva, 2011. "Provision of public goods in a federal economy: The role of party politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 104-119, March.

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