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Testing models of distributive politics using exit polls to measure voter preferences and partisanship

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  • Valentino Larcinese
  • James M. Snyder (Jr.)
  • Cecilia Testa

Abstract

This paper tests various hypotheses about distributive politics by studying the distribution of federal spending across U.S. states over the period 1978-2002. We improve on previous work by using survey data to measure the share of voters in each state that are Democrats, Republicans, and independents, or liberals, conservatives and moderates. We find no evidence for the “swing voter" hypothesis { that is, no significant association between the amount of federal funds a state receives and the fraction of independents or moderates in the state. We also find no evidence for the “battleground state" hypothesis - no significant association between the amount of federal funds and the degree of partisan balance in a state. Modest support is found for the \partisan supporters" hypothesis, which conjectures that politicians will favour areas that contain a large percentage of their core supporters.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3605/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3605.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3605

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Related research

Keywords: Electoral competition; swing voter; partisanship; election closeness; US Federal Spending.;

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References

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  1. Nagler, Jonathan & Leighley, Jan, 1992. " Presidential Campaign Expenditures: Evidence on Allocations and Effects," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 319-33, April.
  2. John Joseph Wallis, 1996. "What Determines the Allocation of National Government Grants to the States?," NBER Historical Working Papers 0090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
  5. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  8. Kevin Milligan & Michael Smart, 2005. "Regional Grants as Pork Barrel Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1453, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Fishback, Price V. & Kantor, Shawn & Wallis, John Joseph, 2003. "Can the New Deal's three Rs be rehabilitated? A program-by-program, county-by-county analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 278-307, July.
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  13. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2008. "Electoral Goals and Center-State Transfers: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  18. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marcelin Joanis, 2008. "The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure," Cahiers de recherche 08-15, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  2. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Munich Reprints in Economics 19269, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2014. "Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Post-war Institutional Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Government and Institutions National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
  5. Casey, Katherine, 2012. "Crossing Party Lines: The Effects of Information on Redistributive Politics," Research Papers 2099, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

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