Testing Models of Distributive Politics Using Exit Polls to Measure Voter Preferences and Partisanship

38 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2008

See all articles by Valentino Larcinese

Valentino Larcinese

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

James M. Snyder

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science & Department of Economics

Cecilia Testa

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

This paper tests various hypotheses about distributive politics by studying the distribution of federal spending across U.S. states over the period 1978-2002. We improve on previous work by using survey data to measure the share of voters in each state that are Democrats, Republicans, and independents, or liberals, conservatives and moderates. We find no evidence for the "swing voter" hypothesis { that is, no significant association between the amount of federal funds a state receives and the fraction of independents or moderates in the state. We also find no evidence for the "battleground state" hypothesis - no significant association between the amount of federal funds and the degree of partisan balance in a state. Modest support is found for the \partisan supporters" hypothesis, which conjectures that politicians will favour areas that contain a large percentage of their core supporters.

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H50

Suggested Citation

Larcinese, Valentino and Snyder, James M. and Testa, Cecilia, Testing Models of Distributive Politics Using Exit Polls to Measure Voter Preferences and Partisanship (April 2006). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. PEPP19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158341

Valentino Larcinese (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

James M. Snyder

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science & Department of Economics ( email )

E53-457
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-253-2669 (Phone)

Cecilia Testa

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )

Royal Holloway College
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

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