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

Author

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  • 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
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    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.
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    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

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