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Political Entrepreneurs and Pork-Barrel Spending

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Black School of Business, 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563, USA
Economies 2019, 7(1), 16;
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Choice)
Pork-barrel spending is the use of federal money for localized projects that yield only a narrow geographic benefit. It is a commonly held belief that politicians use this spending to improve their chances of re-election. One way that an incumbent can increase their chances of re-election is through increased fundraising. Political entrepreneurs see this opportunity and attempt to benefit from these projects in exchange for campaign contributions. This paper investigates whether incumbents are able to use their position to bolster their campaign contributions. I find pork-barrel spending and political contributions to be positively related, but this effect is only present when the incumbent properly times the project. I also find that general federal appropriations do not have the same impact. This supports the claim that pork-barrel spending can be used as a currency in the marketplace for political capital. View Full-Text
Keywords: pork-barrel spending; campaign finance; incumbency advantage; elections pork-barrel spending; campaign finance; incumbency advantage; elections
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Klingensmith, J.Z. Political Entrepreneurs and Pork-Barrel Spending. Economies 2019, 7, 16.

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