Congressmen's Political Power and Federal Contracting in their Districts

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

We use data on all US federally awarded contracts since 2002 to measure how the relative power of Congressmen affects the amount of money sent to their districts, controlling for time-invariant individual characteristics and national trends. We find that political power and opportunity, strategic behavior, ideology, and committee membership all play important roles in the allocation of federal contract dollars across congressional districts. We score representatives’ campaign contributions according to how local their donors base is. We break down the effect of power changes by the measure of how local Representatives are, and find that Representatives who are more locally focused in terms of their campaign contributions leverage increases in political power or political circumstance in order to increase allocations of federal contracts to their districts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 7 2011

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