IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/12190.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pork Barrel Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • Allan Drazen
  • Marcela Eslava

Abstract

We present a model of political budget cycles in which incumbents influence voters by targeting government spending to specific groups of voters at the expense of other voters or other expenditures. Each voter faces a signal extraction problem: being targeted with expenditure before the election may reflect opportunistic manipulation, but may also reflect a sincere preference of the incumbent for the types of spending that voter prefers. We show the existence of a political equilibrium in which rational voters support an incumbent who targets them with spending before the election even though they know it may be electorally motivated. In equilibrium voters in the more "swing" regions are targeted at the expense of types of spending not favored by these voters. This will be true even if they know they live in swing regions. However, the responsiveness of these voters to electoral manipulation depends on whether they face some degree of uncertainty about the electoral importance of the group they are in. Use of targeted spending also implies voters can be influenced without election-year deficits, consistent with recent findings for established democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2006. "Pork Barrel Cycles," NBER Working Papers 12190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12190
    Note: EFG PE POL
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12190.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Myerson, Roger B., 1993. "Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities Under Alternative Electoral Systems," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 856-869, December.
    2. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    4. Sam Peltzman, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-361.
    5. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
    6. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    7. Marco Bonomo & Cristina Terra, 2005. "Elections And Exchange Rate Policy Cycles," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 151-176, July.
    8. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    9. Stein, Ernesto H. & Streb, Jorge M., 2004. "Elections and the timing of devaluations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 119-145, May.
    10. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    11. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2005. "Party Discipline and Pork-Barrel Politics," Papers 08-10-2005, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    12. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    13. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "The Determinants of Success of Special Interests in Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
    15. Ronald Kneebone & Kenneth McKenzie, 2001. "Electoral and Partisan Cycles in Fiscal Policy: An Examination of Canadian Provinces," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(5), pages 753-774, November.
    16. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey, 1988. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 405-422, June.
    17. Marco Bonomo & Cristina Terra, 2005. "Elections And Exchange Rate Policy Cycles," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 151-176, July.
    18. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    19. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
    20. Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "A theory of political cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1166-1186, May.
    21. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    22. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    23. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
    24. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
    25. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    2. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Public investment and reelection prospects in developed countries," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 82(2), pages 471-500, October.
    3. García, Israel & Hayo, Bernd, 2021. "Political budget cycles revisited: Testing the signalling process," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    4. Vergne, Clémence, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-77, March.
    5. Marco Bonomo & Cristina Terra, 2008. "Political Business Cycles through Lobbying," THEMA Working Papers 2008-18, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    6. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    7. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2019. "Pandering and pork-barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 79-93.
    8. Florian Dorn, 2021. "Elections and Government Efficiency," ifo Working Paper Series 363, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    9. Marcela Eslava, 2006. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Policy: Survey," Research Department Publications 4487, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    11. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
    12. Troeger, Vera & Schneider, Christina J., 2012. "Strategic Budgeteering and Debt Allocation," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 85, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    13. Arnt Hopland, 2014. "Voter information and electoral outcomes: the Norwegian list of shame," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 233-255, October.
    14. Balaguer-Coll, Maria Teresa & Brun-Martos, María Isabel & Forte, Anabel & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2015. "Local governments' re-election and its determinants: New evidence based on a Bayesian approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 94-108.
    15. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    16. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2005. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 11862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jeroen Klomp, 2020. "Subsidizing power," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 67(3), pages 300-321, July.
    18. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2012. "Do elections affect the composition of fiscal policy in developed, established democracies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 325-362, April.
    19. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Brender, Adi & Blesse, Sebastian & Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2016. "Revenue decentralization, central oversight and the political budget cycle: Evidence from Israel," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-16.
    20. C. Reynolds, 2014. "State politics, tuition, and the dynamics of a political budget cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1241-1270, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12190. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.