Tactical distribution in local funding: The value of an aligned mayor

Bernardo Lara E., Sergio Toro M.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using Chile as a case study for understanding tactical distribution under extensive controls on expenditure, this paper examines whether political motives affect the allocation of funds from the central government to localities. Collecting local-level data of two infrastructure funding programs and using the voting gap percentage between the coalition candidate and opposition competitors in a Sharp Regression Discontinuity methodology, we find causal evidence in favor of three hypotheses: (i) a coalition criterion influences the funding allocation to the local level; (ii) an electoral cycle exists in local funding; and (iii) the degree of coalition targeting varies based on a locality's history of coalition alignment. In sum, the central government regards politically aligned mayors as valuable electoral assets, especially in municipalities historically aligned with the coalition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alignment
  • Expenditure controls
  • Fiscal federalism
  • Tactical distribution

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