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The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure

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  • Marcelin Joanis

Abstract

This paper sets out a simple dynamic probabilistic voting model in which a government allocates a fixed budget across electoral districts that differ in their loyalty to the ruling party. The model predicts that the geographic pattern of spending depends on the way the government balances long-run machine politics' considerations and the more immediate concern to win over swing voters. Empirical results obtained from a panel of electoral districts in Québec provide robust evidence that districts which display loyalty to the incumbent government receive disproportionately more spending, especially close to an election, at odds with the standard swing voter' view. Cet article développe un modèle dynamique simple de vote probabiliste dans lequel un gouvernement répartit un budget fixe entre des circonscriptions électorales qui diffèrent selon leur degré de loyauté au parti au pouvoir. Le modèle prédit que la répartition géographique des dépenses dépend de la manière dont le gouvernement assure l'équilibre entre des considérations de long terme de type « machine électorale » et des considérations plus immédiates de victoire dans les circonscriptions pivot. Des résultats empiriques obtenus à partir d'un panel de circonscriptions électorales au Québec montrent que les circonscriptions qui sont loyales au parti au pouvoir reçoivent plus que leur part de dépenses, particulièrement à l'approche d'une élection, contrairement à la vision théorique traditionnelle prédisant plus de dépenses dans les circonscriptions pivot.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelin Joanis, 2009. "The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-46, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2009s-46
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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2009s-46.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    partisan loyalty; swing voters; political competition; local public goods; distributive politics; long-run relationships.; loyauté partisane; électeurs pivot; concurrence électorale; biens publics locaux; clientélisme politique; relations de long terme.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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