Publication details

Pork barrel politics and electoral returns at the local level


SPÁČ Peter

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Public Choice
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Distribution; Pork barrel politics; Elections; Local elections; Reelection; Incumbents
Description Does the targeted spending of public resources provide electoral benefits for incumbents? Despite the attention of scholars to that question, the empirical results are mixed thus far. The present paper supplies insights into the electoral benefits of discretionary funding on local elections. I study the consequences of pork-barrel politics in 7355 competitive mayoral elections in Slovakia between 2006 and 2018, finding that more grants from the central government enhance the likelihood of mayors winning reelection. The same advantage applies to mayors whose municipalities receive grants in local election years. The effects of the number of grants obtained as well as the timing of their distribution are, however, moderated by municipal population. More specifically, a larger number of grants and resources obtained near the end of the mayoral term provides electoral benefits only to small town mayors but give no advantage to the mayors of larger urban areas.
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