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

  • Valentino Larcinese
  • James M. Snyder (Jr.)
  • Cecilia Testa

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.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3605/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3605.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3605
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  12. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2008. "Electoral Goals and Center-State Transfers: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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