Distributive Spending and Presidential Partisan Politics

37 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2020

See all articles by Yaniv Reingewertz

Yaniv Reingewertz

University of Haifa - Department of Political Science

Thushyanthan Baskaran

University of Siegen - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2, 2020

Abstract

Do Republican and Democratic presidents vary in their geographic allocations of federal spending? Recent scholarship suggests that US presidents provide more federal outlays to districts represented by their co-partisans, but leave the issue of partisan affiliation unanswered. We explore that question using an updated database that covers federal spending programs over the 1984-2014 period. We show that the alignment effect found in previous studies cannot be observed for Republican presidents. We argue that Republican presidents may not use pork as much as Democratic presidents because their core constituency is fiscally conservative. One implication of the results reported herein is that the electoral benefits of distributive politics depend on the fiscal preferences of the electorate.

Suggested Citation

Reingewertz, Yaniv and Baskaran, Thushyanthan, Distributive Spending and Presidential Partisan Politics (February 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3530396 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3530396

Yaniv Reingewertz (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Department of Political Science ( email )

Haifa
Israel

Thushyanthan Baskaran

University of Siegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Hoelderlinstr. 3
Siegen, 57068
Germany

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