Strategic delegation in a legislative bargaining model with pork and public goods
This paper examines the incentives of voters to appoint legislators with different preferences from their own. The paper adopts an underlying legislative bargaining model proposed by Volden and Wiseman (2007) in which legislators with heterogeneous preferences divide a fixed budget between a public good and pork projects (local public goods). We show that voters have an incentive to strategically delegate to affect how the budget is divided at the legislative level. When voters' preferences for pork are not too strong, the incentives for strategic delegation exist to appoint representatives who will direct more money to the public good and not to pork projects. This generally results in at least as many representatives as districts that favor the public good. The comparative statics predict that when strategic delegation occurs, increasing the size of the legislature increases the fraction of the budget spent on the public good.
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