Does Electoral Competition Curb Party Favoritism?
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
We study whether incumbents facing uncontested elections channel public spending towards co-partisan officials more than is the case of incumbents that are worried about reelection. We draw on data on capital transfers allocated by Spanish regions to local governments during 1995-2007. Using a regression discontinuity design, we document strong and robust effects. We find that a mayor belonging to the party of the regional president obtains twice the amount in grants received by an opposition’s mayor. This effect is much greater for regional incumbents that won the previous election by a large margin, but it disappears for highly competitive elections.
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