Parochial Interests and the Centralized Provision of Local Public Goods: Evidence from Congressional Voting on Transportation Projects
AbstractLocal public goods financed from a national tax base provide concentrated benefits to receipient jurisdictions but disperse costs, creating incentives for legislators to increase own-district spending but to restrain aggregate spending due to the associated tax costs. While these common pool incentives underpin a variety of theoretical analyses, which tend to predict inefficiencies in the allocation of public goods, there is little direct evidence that individual legislators respond to such incentives. To test for reactions to such incentives, this paper analyzes 1998 Congressional votes over transportation project funding. The empirical results provide evidence that legislators respond to common pool incentives: the probability of supporting the projects is increasing in own-district spending and decreasing in the tax burden associated with aggregate spending. Having found that legislators do respond to such incentives, I use the parameter estimates to calculate the efficient level of public goods, which suggest over-spending in aggregate, especially in politically powerful districts, and large associated deadweight loss.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9748.
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Knight, Brian. "Parochial Interests And The Centralized Provision Of Local Public Goods: Evidence From Congressional Voting On Transportation Projects," Journal of Public Economics, 2004, v88(3-4,Mar), 845-866.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Knight, Brian, 2004. "Parochial interests and the centralized provision of local public goods: evidence from congressional voting on transportation projects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 845-866, March.
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
- H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2003-06-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-PBE-2003-06-16 (Public Economics)
- NEP-URE-2003-06-16 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Timothy J. Besley & Harvey S. Rosen, 1998.
"Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis,"
NBER Working Papers
6667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, .
"Political Economics and Public Finance,"
149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
- Crain, W Mark, 1999. "Districts, Diversity, and Fiscal Biases: Evidence from the American States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 675-98, October.
- Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
- Poterba, James M., 1996. "Retail Price Reactions to Changes in State and Local Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 165-76, June.
- Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997.
"The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-76, December.
- V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 1997. "The economics of split-ticket voting in representative democracies," Working Papers 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999.
"Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis,"
NBER Working Papers
7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
- Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
- Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
- DelRossi, Alison F. & Inman, Robert P., 1999. "Changing the price of pork: the impact of local cost sharing on legislators' demands for distributive public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 247-273, February.
- Lockwood, Ben, 1998.
"Distributive Politics and the Benefits of Decentralisation,"
CSGR Working papers series
10/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
- Lockwood, B., 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Benefits of Decentralization," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 513, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Baron, David P & Ferejohn, John, 1987. "Bargaining and Agenda Formation in Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 303-09, May.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.