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

41 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2010

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: November 1, 2009

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 that the allocation of federal spending to the states is distorted by strategic manipulation to win electoral support. States with many swing voters are not advantaged compared to states with more loyal voters, nor do “battleground states” attract more federal funds. Moreover, we find that spending has little or no effect on voters' choices, whereas partisanship and ideology have massive effects.

Keywords: ideological attitudes, partisanship, distributive politics, federal budget

JEL Classification: Z1

Suggested Citation

Larcinese, Valentino and Snyder, James M. and Testa, Cecilia, Testing Models of Distributive Politics Using Exit Polls to Measure Voters' Preferences and Partisanship (November 1, 2009). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 278. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1618875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1618875

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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