Chasing votes with the public budget

Publicado en

  • European Journal of Political Economy


  • This paper examines the distribution of public resources by an incumbent seeking re-election. I present a model to explain the behavior of an incumbent redistributing public goods and cash transfers. According to the model, politicians use the government budget as a portfolio for electoral investment and diversify expenditure in order to target different groups of voters at the same time. I construct a unique data set of the promises made by the president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 to municipalities throughout the country's various regions. The empirical results show some evidence that promises of cash transfers targeted swing voters, promises of public goods simultaneously targeted both core and swing municipalities, while opposition municipalities received few promises of cash transfers and public goods, which is consistent with the prediction of the model.

fecha de publicación

  • 2020

Líneas de investigación

  • Cash transfers
  • Distribution
  • Elections
  • Public goods


  • 63