Regionalism and pork barrel politics

Economics

Speaker:Michael Smart, University of Toronto
Date: Saturday 29 November 2003
Time: 16:15
Location: Room 106 Streatam Court

Further details

(with Kevin Milligan)

We study the role of electoral politics in determining the interregional allocation of federal grants. We present evidence from a newly constructed data set on a program of discretionary regional development transfers from the federal government in Canada during the 1988-2000 period. Consistent with some theories, we find that spending is greater in electoral districts which are ?close races?, in the sense that the previous vote plurality was small. We also find evidence that districts represented by senior members of the government receive larger transfers, but no evidence that districts held by the government party are generally favoured. In marked contrast to the predictions of the standard theory, we find that spending is greater in districts where popular support for a regional secessionist party is stronger.