Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Distributive Politics inside the City? The Political Economy of Spain’s Plan E
() and Luca Repetto
Abstract: We study the allocation of investment projects by
municipal governments across groups of voters using data from a fiscal
stimulus program carried out in Spain between 2009 and 2011. This program
provided municipalities with a large endowment to spend in public
investments and required the geocoding of each individual project.
Combining these data with disaggregated election information at the census
area level, we study whether politicians use expenditures to target their
supporters or to raise turnout. Estimates from regression, matching and RDD
methods show no evidence of local governments targeting areas of core
support. Instead, investment goes disproportionately to low turnout areas,
suggesting that politicians use funds to increase participation. We
confirm this hypothesis by showing that, in the following elections,
turnout is increased in areas that received more investment. Our results
suggest that mobilization can be a strong force in shaping the allocation
of resources across voter groups within cities.
Keywords: Political economy; Distributive Politics; Core voters; Turnout; Partisan alignment.; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D72; H76; R53; (follow links to similar papers)
48 pages, December 19, 2016
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