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A Political Theory of Intergovernmental Grants


  • Grossman, Philip J


This paper formulates a political theory of intergovernmental grants. A model of vote-maximizing federal politicians is developed. Grants are assumed to buy the support of state voters and the 'political capital or resources' of state politicians and interest groups which can be used to further increase the support of state voters for the federal politician. The model is tested for 49 states. Similarity of party affiliation between federal and state politicians and the size of the Democrat majority in the state legislature increases the per capita dollar amount of grants made to a state. Likewise, increases in both the size of the state bureaucracy and union membership lead to greater grants for a state. Over time, the importance of interest groups (bureaucracy and unions) has increased relative to political groups (state politicians). Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Philip J, 1994. "A Political Theory of Intergovernmental Grants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 295-303, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:78:y:1994:i:3-4:p:295-303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:01:p:149-163_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nirvikar Singh & Donald Wittman, 2001. "Contests where there is variation in the marginal productivity of effort," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(3), pages 711-744.
    3. Coker, David C & Crain, W Mark, 1994. "Legislative Committees as Loyalty-Generating Institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 195-221, December.
    4. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, March.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:01:p:89-106_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
    7. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-143, January.
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