Electoral Manipulation Via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence

35 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2005

See all articles by Allan Drazen

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marcela Eslava

University of the Andes (CEDE)

Date Written: January 2005

Abstract

We present a model of the Political Budget Cycle in which voters and politicians have preferences for different types of government spending. Incumbents try to influence voters by changing the composition of government spending, rather than overall spending or revenues. Rational voters may support an incumbent who targets them with spending before the election even though such spending may be due to opportunistic manipulation, because it can also reflect sincere preference of the incumbent for types of spending voters favor. Classifying expenditures into those which are targeted to voters and those that are not, we provide evidence supporting our model in data on local public finances for all Colombian municipalities. Our findings indicate both a pre-electoral increase in targeted expenditures, combined with a contraction of other types of expenditure, and a voter response to targeting.

Suggested Citation

Drazen, Allan and Eslava, Marcela, Electoral Manipulation Via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence (January 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11085. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=656582

Allan Drazen (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-3477 (Phone)
301-405-7835 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marcela Eslava

University of the Andes (CEDE) ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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