English Bacon: Copartisan Bias in Intergovernmental Grant Allocation in England

  • Alexander Fouirnaies
  • Published 2015


The literature on distributive politics suggests that politicians have incentives to engage in targeted spending especially in decentralized political systems with weak parties and candidate-centered elections. We argue that in centralized political systems with party-centered elections parties use intergovernmental transfers to advance their electoral fortune via performance spillovers across different levels of government. On the basis of a new data set on partisan composition of local councils in England and grants allocated by the central government during 1992–2012, and using a differencein-difference approach, we provide evidence that governments allocate up to 17% more money to local councils controlled by their “own” party. Furthermore, we show that the effect is strongest closer to local election years, in local councils where institutions facilitate credit claiming, and in swing councils.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Fouirnaies2015EnglishBC, title={English Bacon: Copartisan Bias in Intergovernmental Grant Allocation in England}, author={Alexander Fouirnaies}, year={2015} }