IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Jam-barrel Politics


  • Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía
  • Juan S. Morales


We study the executive-legislative exchange of centrally-allocated and individually targeted benefits (jam) for legislative support in Colombia. We use data from road building contracts, roll-call votes, and a leaked document which allegedly revealed the secret assignment of road projects to specific legislators. We find that assigned projects were more expensive relative to similar non-assigned projects, legislators who appeared in the leak were more likely to be "swing" voters in the congress, and legislators increased their support for the president’s party after their assigned contracts were signed. The results are stronger for legislators representing remote regions, where political institutions are weaker.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía & Juan S. Morales, 2019. "Jam-barrel Politics," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 596, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:596

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    legislatures; distributive politics; pork-barrel; legislative vote-buying; spatial isolation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:596. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Giovanni Bert (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.