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Regional Grants as Pork Barrel Politics

  • Kevin Milligan
  • Michael Smart

We investigate the political and economic factors influencing the allocation of regional development grants for a panel of Canadian electoral districts in the 1988-2001 period. In a strong party system such as Canada’s, models of political competition predict little role for individual legislators, as party leaders allocate resources to maximize party success. While spending is targeted toward some “swing” districts, we do also find it is higher in districts represented by members of the government party, especially those in the federal Cabinet, and those of lower seniority. We develop a model featuring bargaining over legislative and non-legislative favours that is consistent with the evidence.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1453.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1453
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  1. Olivier Cadot & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Andreas Stephan, 2002. "Contribution to Productivity or Pork Barrel? The Two Faces of Infrastructure Investment," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  2. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2008. "Electoral Goals and Center-State Transfers: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 545, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  6. Dahlberg, M. & Johansson, E., 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Papers 1999:24, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  9. Eric Crampton, 2002. "Distributive Politics in a Strong Party System: Evidence from Canadian Job Grant Programs," Microeconomics 0211001, EconWPA.
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
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