NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alison F. DelRossi

University of Wyoming

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 1998Changing the Price of Pork: The Impact of Local Cost Sharing on Legislators' Demand for Distributive Public Goods
with Robert P. Inman: w6440
The provision of public services through national legislatures gives legislators the chance to fund locally-beneficial public projects using a shared national tax base. Nationally-financed, local public goods will be purchased at a subsidized price below marginal cost and may be inefficiently too large as a consequence. An important assumption behind this conclusion is that national legislators in fact demand more of the locally-beneficial project as the local price for projects declines. This paper provides the first direct test of this important assumption using legislators' project choices following the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA'86). We find legislators' chosen water project sizes do fall as the local cost share rises, with a price elasticity of de...

Published: Journal of Public Economics (1999).

 
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