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Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power and The Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence From The Us Congress

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  • Brian Knight

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between representation in legislatures and the geographic distribution of federal funds. In a legislative bargaining model, we demonstrate that funds are concentrated in high representation areas, and two channels underlie this result. The proposal power channel reflects the role of representation in committee assignments, and the vote cost channel reflects the role of representation in coalition formation. In our empirical analysis, we find that small states, relative to large states, receive more funding in the US Senate, relative to the House. We also find empirical support for the two channels underlying this relationship. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008.

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  • Brian Knight, 2008. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power and The Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence From The Us Congress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1785-1803, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:532:p:1785-1803
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    Cited by:

    1. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2016. "Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 42-52.
    2. Hindriks, Jean & Lockwood, Ben, 2009. "Decentralization and electoral accountability: Incentives, separation and voter welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 385-397, September.
    3. Peter Bönisch & Benny Geys & Claus Michelsen, 2015. "David and Goliath in the Poll Booth: Group Size, Voting Power and Voter Turnout," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2016. "Corruption and bicameral reforms," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 387-411, August.
    5. Stratmann, Thomas, 2013. "The effects of earmarks on the likelihood of reelection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 341-355.
    6. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    7. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2015. "Common pool problems in voluntary municipal mergers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 140-152.
    8. Brice Fabre, 2017. "Political Colleagues Matter: The Impact of Multiple Office-Holding on Intergovernmental Grants," PSE Working Papers halshs-01596149, HAL.
    9. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2013. "Why Do Small States Receive More Federal Money? U.S. Senate Representation and the Allocation of Federal Budget," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 257-282, November.
    10. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2016. "Local representation and strategic voting: Evidence from electoral boundary reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-45.
    11. Tukiainen, Janne & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Hyytinen, Ari, 2013. "Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Working Papers 38, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    12. Dongwon Lee, 2016. "Supermajority rule and bicameral bargaining," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(1), pages 53-75, October.
    13. Kauder, Björn & Björn, Kauder & Niklas, Potrafke & Markus, Reischmann, 2016. "Do politicians gratify core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145509, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Halse, Askill H., 2016. "More for everyone: The effect of local interests on spending on infrastructure," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 41-56.
    15. Maaser, Nicola & Stratmann, Thomas, 2016. "Distributional consequences of political representation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 187-211.
    16. Hyytinen, Ari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "Electoral vulnerability and size of local governments: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 193-204.
    17. Zachary Horváth & Brian David Moore & Jonathan C. Rork, 2014. "Does Federal Aid to States Aid the States?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 333-361, June.
    18. Vegh, Carlos A. & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2015. "Unsticking the flypaper effect in an uncertain world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 142-155.
    19. Jennes, Geert & Persyn, Damiaan, 2015. "The effect of political representation on the geographic distribution of income: Evidence using Belgian data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-194.
    20. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Do politicians reward core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-56.
    21. Vespa, Emanuel I., 2016. "Malapportionment and multilateral bargaining: An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 64-74.
    22. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2013. "Changing Needs, Sticky Budget: Evidence From the Geographic Distribution of U.S. Federal Grants," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(2), pages 311-342, June.
    23. Karen Maguire, 2016. "Drill baby drill? Political influence on federal onshore oil and gas leasing in the Western United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 131-164, May.
    24. Harjunen, Oskari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2017. "Political Representation and Effects of Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 98, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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