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The Allocation of the US Federal Budget to the States: Evidence on the Power of the Purse




This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of the allocation of the US federal budget to the states. We find that the president has a strong influence on the budget allocation, while support for theories that give prominence to the Congress is rather weak. Membership of prestige committees is not used to divert federal spending nor does membership of the Armed Services committee affects defense spending. The presidential race matters. States that are historically volatile or extremely safe in presidential elections tend to receive more funds, while marginal states are not rewarded. Finally, we find good evidence in support of partisan theories. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2004. "The Allocation of the US Federal Budget to the States: Evidence on the Power of the Purse," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/25, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Oct 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0425

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    More about this item


    Federal Budget; Pork-Barrell; President; Congress; Political Parties; Committees; American Elections.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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