The Effect of Presidential Particularism on Income: A County Level Analysis

66 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Jamie Bologna Pavlik

Jamie Bologna Pavlik

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Maria Tackett

Gonzaga University

Date Written: March 28, 2022

Abstract

Does it pay to be a locale of political importance? Political business cycle theory predicts that the executive has an incentive to manipulate policy to increase the chances of their party remaining in office. In particular, core counties (those that vote for the current administration) have been shown to enjoy disproportionately higher federal spending. In this paper, we explore how this funding affects the well-being of an area by estimating the effect of presidential particularism on governmental transfers and (productive) income per-capita using county-level data from 1993 – 2012. We find that transfer payments tend to be higher and income lower in counties that vote for the current administration. These findings are robust across a wide number of specifications including fixed effects, first differences, a first differenced model with county specific time trends, and a matching analysis. Moreover, results hold when examining the subset of counties that only voted for a single party throughout the entire sample where the treatment (whether the county voted for the current administration) is largely exogenous to the county in question.

Keywords: Economic growth; Presidential particularism; Political economy; Public choice

JEL Classification: D70; D72; R11

Suggested Citation

Bologna Pavlik, Jamie and Tackett, Maria, The Effect of Presidential Particularism on Income: A County Level Analysis (March 28, 2022). Free Market Institute Research Paper No. 3812724, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3812724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3812724

Jamie Bologna Pavlik (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Suite 167, 2625 Memorial Circle
TTU Administration
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Maria Tackett

Gonzaga University ( email )

Spokane, WA 99202
United States

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