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Swing States, the Winner-Take-all Electoral College, and Fiscal Federalism

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher M. Duquette

    (The MITRE Corporation)

  • Franklin G . Mixon

    (Columbus State University)

  • Richard J. Cebula

    (Jacksonville University)

Abstract

The impact of the Electoral College on U.S. presidential elections is often criticized by academics and political commentators. One facet of its impact, the winner-take-all allocation of states’ Electoral College votes, serves in practice to overweight some votes in some states relative to other votes in other states. These disparities in the relative impact of votes in a presidential election can be large. Here, a metric is introduced to quantify the magnitude of these disparities in each presidential election. Using that metric, we show that states whose votes were overweighted in a presidential election subsequently received higher levels of federal grant spending under the newly-elected (re-elected) administration.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher M. Duquette & Franklin G . Mixon & Richard J. Cebula, 2017. "Swing States, the Winner-Take-all Electoral College, and Fiscal Federalism," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 45-57, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:45:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11293-016-9526-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-016-9526-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Swing voters; Electoral College; Fiscal federalism; Intergovernmental grants;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)

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