The Impact on Pork-Barrel Spending on Incumbent Fundraising
30 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 2, 2015
Pork-barrel spending is the use of federal money for localized projects which typically yield only a narrow geographic benefit. It is a commonly held belief that politicians utilize this spending to improve their chances of re-election. One way an incumbent can increase their chances of re-election is through increased fundraising. This paper investigates whether incumbents are able to use pork-barrel spending to bolster their campaign contributions. I find that for every $1 million of pork-barrel spending, incumbents are able to increase their campaign contributions by approximately $17,000. But, this effect is only present when the incumbent properly times the project. I also find that general federal appropriations do not have the same impact. These results support the belief that legislators knowingly use pork-barrel spending for their own personal benefit.
Keywords: Pork-Barrel Spending; Campaign Financing; Re-elections
JEL Classification: D72; H50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation