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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1608230
 
 

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The Effects of Earmarks on the Likelihood of Reelection


Thomas Stratmann


George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

July 31, 2012

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 10-16

Abstract:     
Many models predict that incumbent legislators use government spending — “pork barrel” spending — to increase their vote shares in elections. To date, however, evidence for this hypothesis is scarce. Using recently available data on the sponsorship of earmarks in U.S. appropriations legislation, this paper tests the effects of earmarks on the likelihood of legislators’ reelection. The results show that secured earmarks lead to higher vote shares. The analysis demonstrates that a 10 million increase in earmarks leads to as much as a one percentage point increase in vote share on election day. Furthermore, the paper tests for voter responses to earmarks when earmarks have few or many sponsors.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

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Date posted: May 15, 2010 ; Last revised: November 5, 2013

Suggested Citation

Stratmann, Thomas, The Effects of Earmarks on the Likelihood of Reelection (July 31, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 10-16. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1608230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1608230

Contact Information

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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