IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_3405.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Toke Aidt
  • Julia Shvets

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

  • Toke Aidt & Julia Shvets, 2011. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," CESifo Working Paper Series 3405, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3405
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3405.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policymaking: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 118-149, March.
    2. Toke S. Aidt & Julia Shvets, 2012. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-29, August.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
    4. Brian Knight, 2005. "Estimating the Value of Proposal Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1639-1652, December.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:85:y:1991:i:01:p:137-164_17 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    7. Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
    8. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
    9. Leah Brooks & Justin Phillips & Maxim Sinitsyn, 2011. "The Cabals of a Few or the Confusion of a Multitude: The Institutional Trade-Off between Representation and Governance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, February.
    10. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281.
    11. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per, 2012. "Does the size of the legislature affect the size of government? Evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 269-278.
    12. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
    13. Dhami, Sanjit, 2003. "The political economy of redistribution under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2069-2103, September.
    14. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    15. Gilligan, Thomas W. & Matsusaka, John G., 2001. "Fiscal Policy, Legislature Size, and Political Parties: Evidence From State and Local Governments in the First Half of the 20th Century," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(1), pages 57-82, March.
    16. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
    17. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
    18. Chiara Dalle Nogare & Roberto Ricciuti, 2008. "Term Limits: Do they really Affect Fiscal Policy Choices?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2199, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. W. Robert Reed, 1994. "A Retrospective Voting Model With Heterogeneous Politicians," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 39-58, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2016. "Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 42-52.
    2. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2015. "Common pool problems in voluntary municipal mergers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 140-152.
    3. Hans Gersbach & Oriana Ponta, 2017. "Unraveling short- and farsightedness in politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 289-321, March.
    4. Toke S. Aidt & Julia Shvets, 2012. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-29, August.
    5. Leandro De Magalhães & Lucas Ferrero, 2012. "Separation of Powers and the Size of Government in the U.S. States," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/285, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    6. Jon X. Eguia & Antonio Nicolò, 2011. "On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 234, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    7. Hessami, Zohal, 2014. "Electoral Rules for Mayors and Incentives to Pork-Barrel: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from German Municipalities," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100432, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Brice Fabre & Marc Sangnier, 2017. "What Motivates French Pork: Political Career Concerns or Private Connections?," Working Papers halshs-01480532, HAL.
    9. Brollo, Fernanda & Kaufmann, Katja & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2017. "The Political Economy of Program Enforcement: Evidence from Brazil," CEPR Discussion Papers 11964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Leandro De Magalhães & Lucas Ferrero, 2015. "Separation of powers and the tax level in the U.S. states," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 598-619, October.
    11. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco veiga, 2016. "Term limits at the local government level," NIPE Working Papers 7/2016, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    12. Marroquín Arreola, Juan & Rios Bolívar, Humberto, 2012. "Gasto público, permanencia en el poder y crecimiento económico /Public Spending, Staying Power and Economic Growth," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 363(22)-363, Abril.
    13. Klein, Fabio Alvim & Sakurai, Sergio Naruhiko, 2015. "Term limits and political budget cycles at the local level: evidence from a young democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 21-36.
    14. Fabio Alvim Klein & Sergio Naruhiko Sakurai, 2016. "Term Limits And Political Budget Cycles At The Local Level: Evidence From A Young Democracy," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42nd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 052, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    15. Dalle Nogare, Chiara & Kauder, Björn, 2017. "Term limits for mayors and intergovernmental grants: Evidence from Italian cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-11.
    16. Gerrit J. Gonschorek & Günther G. Schulze & Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir, 2018. "To the ones in need or the ones you need? The Political Economy of Central Discretionary Grants − Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 36, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jan 2018.
    17. Furdas, Marina & Homolkova, Katerina & Kis-Katos, Krisztina, 2015. "Local Political Budget Cycles in a Federation: Evidence from West German Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 8798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2015. "Lame but loyal ducks," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 254, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    19. repec:kap:pubcho:v:174:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0488-y is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0452-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    term limits; electoral incentives; distributive politics; the Law of 1/N; US state legislatures;

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:ces:ceswps:_3405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.