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Do Small States Get More Federal Monies? Myth and Reality About the US Senate Malapportionment

  • Cecilia Testa

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London)

We analyze the relationship between senate malapportionment and the allocation of the US federal budget to the states during the period 1978-2002. A substantial literature originating from the influential paper by Atlas et al. (1995) finds that small and overrepresented states get significantly larger shares of federal funds. We show that these studies suffer from fundamental identification problems and grossly overestimate the impact of malapportionment. Most of the estimated impact is not a scale but a change effect. Rather than evidence of "small state advantage", we find that states with fast growing population are penalized in the allocation of the federal budget independently of whether they are large or small.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 09/04.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0904
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  1. Brian Knight, 2005. "Estimating the Value of Proposal Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1639-1652, December.
  2. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "Has State Redistribution Policy Grown More Conservative?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(2), pages 123-42, June.
  3. Gary Hoover & Paul Pecorino, 2005. "The Political Determinants of Federal Expenditure at the State Level," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 95-113, April.
  4. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US Federal Budget to the States: the Impact of the President," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 03, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Hauk, William R. & Wacziarg, Romain, 2007. "Small States, Big Pork," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 95-106, March.
  6. Brian Knight, 2004. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power, and the Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence from the U.S. Senate," NBER Working Papers 10385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Wallis, John Joseph, 1998. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending Revisited, Again: With and without Nevada," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 140-170, April.
  9. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, December.
  10. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 30-38, February.
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