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Local Favoritism in At-large Proportional Representation Systems

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  • Jon H. Fiva
  • Askill Halse

Abstract

Pork barrel spending is typically attributed to the strategic behavior of political elites hoping to be electorally rewarded by voters residing in their districts. Such behavior is expected to depend on the incentives imposed by the electoral system. We estimate the causal effect of local representation in a closed list proportional representation system where individual candidates have no clear electoral incentive to favor their hometown. Using data from Norwegian regional governments, we still find a hometown bias. We document that municipalities with a representative on the regional council from the same party as the governor tend to obtain more funding for local investments. In an extension we show that citizens also tend to vote more often for parties with a governor candidate from their own hometown, consistent with an expectation of particularistic benefits. Both effects are driven by municipalities with below median population size.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon H. Fiva & Askill Halse, 2015. "Local Favoritism in At-large Proportional Representation Systems," CESifo Working Paper Series 5534, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5534
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    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:60-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:240-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lapointe, Simon & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2018. "Effects of Municipal Mergers on Voter Turnout," Working Papers 106, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Tien Manh Vu & Hiroyuki Yamada, "undated". "Firms and Regional Favoritism," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2017-025, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    5. Jon H. Fiva & Askill Halse & Daniel M. Smith, 2018. "Local Candidates and Distributive Politics under Closed-list Proportional Representation," CESifo Working Paper Series 7039, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Hernaes, Øystein, 2017. "Activation against Absenteeism: Evidence from a Sickness Insurance Reform in Norway," IZA Discussion Papers 10991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Mariana Lopes da Fonseca, 2017. "Appointed Public Officials and Local Favoritism: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6800, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Levoshko, Tamila, 2017. ""Pork-Barrel"-Politik und das regionale Wirtschaftswachstum. Empirische Evidenz für die Ukraine und Polen," Working Papers 0642, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. Gianmarco Daniele & Sergio Galletta & Benny Geys, 2017. "Abandon Ship? Party Brands and Politicians' Responses to a Political Scandal," IdEP Economic Papers 1703, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    10. Kauder, Björn & Björn, Kauder & Niklas, Potrafke & Markus, Reischmann, 2016. "Do politicians gratify core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145509, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. 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.
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    14. Markus Reischmann, 2016. "Empirical Studies on Public Debt and Fiscal Transfers," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 63, January.
    15. Harjunen, Oskari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2017. "Political Representation and Effects of Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 98, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    distributive politics; voting behavior; regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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