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What Motivates French Pork: Political Career Concerns or Private Connections?

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Abstract

This paper uses the detailed curricula of French ministers and the detailed accounts of French municipalities to identify governmental investment grants targeted to specific jurisdictions. We distinguish between municipalities in which a politician held office before being appointed as a government’s member and those in which current ministers lived during their childhood. We provide evidence that municipalities in which a minister held office during her career experience a 45% increase in the amount of discretionary investment subsidies they receive during the time the politician they are linked to serves as minister. In contrast, we do not find any evidence that subsidies flow to municipalities from which ministers originate. Additional evidence advocate in favour of a key role of network and knowledge accumulated through connections, illustrated by a persistence of the impact of intergovernmental ties.

Suggested Citation

  • Brice Fabre & Marc Sangnier, 2017. "What Motivates French Pork: Political Career Concerns or Private Connections?," AMSE Working Papers 1705, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1705
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    Keywords

    pork-barrel economics; distributive politics; political connections; private connections;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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