The Presidency, Regionalism, and Distributive Politics in South Korea
Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 861-882, June 2008
Posted: 28 Sep 2011
Date Written: June 1, 2008
Although whether there is political influence on distributive policies is now indisputable, important debates have emerged about how politics distorts distributive policy outcomes. In this article, the authors improve the understanding of distributive politics by focusing on South Korea. They argue that because of Korea-specific institutional and cultural settings, an incumbent president allocates disproportionately larger amounts of pork-barrel benefits not only to his own turf but also to his rival's, while distributing smaller amounts to regions where votes are more evenly divided between the camps. This uneven distribution results from his aspiration to achieve dual objectives: to secure his 'graceful retirement' and to achieve uninterrupted operation of government during his term. Using municipality-level data, the authors show that this U -shaped relationship between vote and money is statistically significant for both the Kim Young Sam (1993 to 1997) and Kim Dae Jung administrations (1998 to 2002).
Keywords: Korea, distributive politics, intergovernmental fiscal transfers, pork barrel, regionalism
JEL Classification: D72, D78, H71, H72, H77
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation