AbstractBoth conventional wisdom and leading academic research view pork barrel spending as antithetical to responsible policymaking in times of crisis. In this paper we present an alternative view. When agents are heterogeneous in their ideology and in their information about the economic situation, allocation of pork may enable passage of legislation appropriate to a "crisis" that might otherwise not pass. Pork "greases the legislative wheels" not by bribing legislators to accept legislation they view as harmful, but by conveying information about the necessity of policy change, where it may be impossible to convey such information in the absence of pork. Pork may be used for this function in situations where all legislators would agree to forgo pork under full information. Moreover, pork will be observed when the public good is most valuable precisely because it is valuable and the informed agenda setter wants to convey this information.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16667.
Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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- NEP-CDM-2011-01-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2011-01-16 (Contract Theory & Applications)
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