Stimulating the Vote: ARRA Road Spending and Vote Share
AbstractThis paper estimates the impact of public good spending on voting behavior in the United States, using a quasi-experimental design and the distribution of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) road projects in New Jersey. I find an approximate 1.5 percentage point increase in Democratic Party presidential vote share in areas close to highway and bridge expenditures. I consider two alternative mechanisms: one, a salience mechanism whereby spending and associated "funded-by" signage affect political preferences; the other, a possible political multiplier effect whereby stimulus spending improves local economic outcomes, generating incumbent votes. Evidence is inconsistent with the later explanation.
CitationHuet-Vaughn, Emiliano. 2019. "Stimulating the Vote: ARRA Road Spending and Vote Share." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 11 (1): 292-316. DOI: 10.1257/pol.20170151
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H41 Public Goods
- H54 National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
- H76 State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
- R42 Transportation Economics: Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance, Transportation Planning