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Bringing Home the Bacon: An empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics

  • Andrew Leigh

Which electorates receive targeted funding, and does targeted funding swing votes? To answer these questions, I analyze four discretionary programs funded by the Australian federal government during the 2001-2004 election cycle. Controlling for relevant demographic characteristics of the electorate, those electorates held by the governing coalition received a larger share of discretionary funding, and a larger number of program grants. Among government seats, funding does not appear to have been directed towards those that were more marginal. More discretionary funding – particularly on road-building – was associated with a larger swing towards the government in the 2004 election.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP580.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 580.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:580
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  1. Andrew Leigh & Justin Wolfers, 2005. "Competing Approaches to Forecasting Elections: Economic Models, Opinion Polling and Prediction Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 502, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Picci, Lucio & Golden, Miriam, 2007. "Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994," MPRA Paper 5626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Eric Crampton, 2002. "Distributive Politics in a Strong Party System: Evidence from Canadian Job Grant Programs," Microeconomics 0211001, EconWPA.
  4. Wiji Arulampalam & Sugato Dasgupta & Amrita Dhillon & Bhaskar Dutta, 2008. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A Theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-14, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  5. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
  6. Alvarez, Michael R. & Saving, Jason, 1995. "Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Working Papers 898, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Olivier Cadot & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Andreas Stephan, 2004. "Contribution to Productivity or Pork Barrel?: The Two Faces of Infrastructure Investment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 458, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Economic Voting and Electoral Behaviour: How do Individual, Local and National Factors Affect the Partisan Choice?," CEPR Discussion Papers 489, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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