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Testing models of distributive politics using exit polls to measure voter preferences and partisanship

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  • Larcinese, Valentino
  • Snyder, Jr., James M.
  • Testa, Cecilia

Abstract

This paper tests various hypotheses about distributive politics by studying the distribution of federal spending across U.S. states over the period 1978-2002. We improve on previous work by using survey data to measure the share of voters in each state that are Democrats, Republicans, and independents, or liberals, conservatives and moderates. We find no evidence for the “swing voter" hypothesis { that is, no significant association between the amount of federal funds a state receives and the fraction of independents or moderates in the state. We also find no evidence for the “battleground state" hypothesis - no significant association between the amount of federal funds and the degree of partisan balance in a state. Modest support is found for the \partisan supporters" hypothesis, which conjectures that politicians will favour areas that contain a large percentage of their core supporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Larcinese, Valentino & Snyder, Jr., James M. & Testa, Cecilia, 2006. "Testing models of distributive politics using exit polls to measure voter preferences and partisanship," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3605, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3605
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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 433-449, March.
    2. C. Reynolds, 2014. "State politics, tuition, and the dynamics of a political budget cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1241-1270, June.
    3. Davide Luca & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Electoral politics and regional development: assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1402, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    4. Testa, Cecilia, 2012. "Is polarization bad?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1104-1118.
    5. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    6. repec:eee:exehis:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:18-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2012. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: Recent evidence from Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 10-19.
    8. Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 117-143, January.
    9. Helmut Herwartz & Bernd Theilen, 2014. "On the political and fiscal determinants of income redistribution under federalism and democracy: evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 121-139, April.
    10. Cinnirella, Francesco & Schueler, Ruth, 2018. "Nation building: The role of central spending in education," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 18-39.
    11. repec:ecl:stabus:2099 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2014. "Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Postwar Institutional Reforms," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume I: Government and Institutions, pages 15-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:58-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jean-Francois Maystadt & Muhammad Kabir Salihu, 2015. "National or political cake?," Working Papers 100756558, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    15. 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.
    16. Paul W. Rhode & James M. Snyder, Jr. & Koleman Strumpf, 2017. "The Arsenal of Democracy: Production and Politics During WWII," NBER Working Papers 24158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Verena Kroth & Valentino Larcinese & Joachim Wehner, 2016. "A Better Life for All? Democratization and Electrification in Post-Apartheid South Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 60, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral competition; swing voter; partisanship; election closeness; US Federal Spending.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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