Partisan Targeting of Inter-Governmental Transfers & State Interference in Local Elections: Evidence from Spain
Documents de Treball de l’IEB 2012/31
44 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016
Date Written: December 7, 2012
We examine whether state-level incumbents discriminate in the allocation of transfers in favour of local governments controlled by co-partisans, and whether the electoral prospects of local incumbents improve when they are aligned with the state incumbent. Using a new database covering around 3,000 Spanish municipalities during the period 2000-07 and a Regression Discontinuity design, we document a very strong and robust effect: in close races, municipalities aligned with the regional government obtain on average 83% more per capita transfers and their incumbents gain 10% more votes at the local elections. We also show that the effect of alignment is stronger: (i) when regional and local elections are held on the same day, (ii) in regions with less competitive regional elections, and (ii) in regions with more budget resources.
Keywords: Political Parties, Inter-Governmental Transfers, Pork Barrel Politics
JEL Classification: C2, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation