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Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President

  • Valentino Larcinese
  • Leonzio Rizzo
  • Cecilia Testa

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of the US federal budget allocation to the states. Departing from the existing literature that gives prominence to Congress, we carry on an empirical investigation on the impact of Presidents during the period 1982-2000. Our findings suggest that the distribution of federal outlays to the States is affected by presidential politics. First, presidential elections matter. States that heavily supported the incumbent President in past presidential elections tend to receive more funds, while marginal and swing states are not rewarded. Second, party affiliation also plays an important role since states whose governor has the same political affiliation of the President receive more federal funds, while states opposing the president's party in Congressional elections are penalized. These results show that presidents are engaged in tactical distribution of federal funds and also provide good evidence in support of partisan theories of budget allocation.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3611/
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 3611.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3611
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  7. Anderson, Gary M & Tollison, Robert D, 1991. "Congressional Influence and Patterns of New Deal Spending, 1933-1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-75, April.
  8. Alvarez, R Michael & Saving, Jason L, 1997. " Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 55-73, July.
  9. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  10. Wallis, John Joseph, 1987. "Employment, Politics, and Economic Recovery during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 516-20, August.
  11. Atlas, Cary M, et al, 1995. "Slicing the Federal Government Net Spending Pie: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 624-29, June.
  12. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
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