Public Choice

, Volume 146, Issue 1–2, pp 117–143

The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure



This paper sets out a simple dynamic probabilistic voting model in which a government allocates a fixed budget across electoral districts that differ in their loyalties to the ruling party. The model predicts that the geographic pattern of spending depends on the way the government balances long-run ‘machine politics’ considerations and the more immediate concern to win over swing voters. Empirical results obtained from a panel of electoral districts in Québec provide robust evidence that districts which display loyalty to the incumbent government receive disproportionately more spending, especially close to an election, at odds with the standard ‘swing voter’ view.


Partisan loyalty Swing voters Political competition Local public goods Distributive politics Long-run relationships 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and GREDI, Faculté d’administrationUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.CIRANOMontréalCanada

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