Electoral Cycles in Pork Barrel Politics: Evidence from South Korea 1989-2008
41 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2014
Date Written: November 17, 2014
Despite strong theoretical claims that politicians should target distributive benefits to swing voters and competitive districts, the empirical evidence is mixed. This paper resolves the inconsistencies by focusing on the time-varying incentives of an incumbent government. To the extent that election-motivated behavior entails directing government resources to marginal voters and constituencies, this behavior can be expected to peak in the period just prior to an election. An analysis of subsidy allocation in South Korea provides evidentiary support for this claim. In general, more subsidies are allotted to incumbents’ core municipalities; however, before legislative elections, municipalities with close legislative races receive greater share of subsidies.
Keywords: Distributive Poliitcs, Electoral Cycles, South Korea
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