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The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure

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  • Marcelin Joanis

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Abstract

This paper sets out a simple dynamic probabilistic voting model in which a government allocates a fixed budget across electoral districts that differ in their loyalty to the ruling party. The model predicts that the geographic pattern of spending depends on the way the government balances long-run ‘machine politics’ considerations and the more immediate concern to win over swing voters. Empirical results obtained from a panel of electoral districts in Québec provide robust evidence that districts which display loyalty to the incumbent government receive disproportionately more spending, especially close to an election, at odds with the standard ‘swing voter’ view. Cet article développe un modèle dynamique simple de vote probabiliste dans lequel un gouvernement répartit un budget fixe entre des circonscriptions électorales qui diffèrent selon leur degré de loyauté au parti au pouvoir. Le modèle prédit que la répartition géographique des dépenses dépend de la manière dont le gouvernement assure l’équilibre entre des considérations de long terme de type « machine électorale » et des considérations plus immédiates de victoire dans les circonscriptions pivot. Des résultats empiriques obtenus à partir d’un panel de circonscriptions électorales au Québec montrent que les circonscriptions qui sont loyales au parti au pouvoir reçoivent plus que leur part de dépenses, particulièrement à l’approche d’une élection, contrairement à la vision théorique traditionnelle prédisant plus de dépenses dans les circonscriptions pivot.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2009s-46.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2009s-46

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Keywords: partisan loyalty; swing voters; political competition; local public goods; distributive politics; long-run relationships. ; loyauté partisane; électeurs pivot; concurrence électorale; biens publics locaux; clientélisme politique; relations de long terme.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. André, Pierre & Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine, 2011. "The Allocation of Public Goods and National Elections in Ghana," MPRA Paper 29873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mario Jametti & Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "Electoral Competition as a Determinant of Fiscal Decentralization," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 1107, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  3. Pierre André & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2011. "Politics and the geographic allocation of public funds in a semi-democracy. The case of Ghana, 1996-2004," Working Papers DT/2011/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  4. Albert Solé-Ollé, 2009. "Inter-Regional redistribution through infrastructure investment: tactical or programmatic?," Working Papers 2009/32, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  5. Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine & André, Pierre, 2013. "Sitting on the fence: Pork - barrels and democratization under threat of conflict. The case of Ghana, 1996 - 2004," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12022, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Kumar Das, Pranab & Kar, Saibal & Kayal, Madhumanti, 2011. "Religious Minorities and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from Rural West Bengal," IZA Discussion Papers 6154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Per G. Fredriksson & Xenia Matschke & Jenny Minier, 2008. "For Sale: Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems," Working papers 2008-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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