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Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures

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  • Aidt, T.S.
  • Shvets, J.

Abstract

We study the effect of electoral incentives on the allocation of public services across legislative districts. We develop a model in which elections encourage individual legislators to cater to parochial interests and thus aggravate the common pool problem. Using unique data from seven US states, we study how the amount of funding that a legislator channels to his district changes when he faces a term limit. We find that legislators bring less state funds to their district when they cannot run for re-election. Consistent with the Law of 1/N, this tendency is less pronounced in states with many legislative districts.

Suggested Citation

  • Aidt, T.S. & Shvets, J., 2011. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1130, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1130
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Term limits; electoral incentives; distributive politics; the Law of 1/N; US state legislatures.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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