The provision of public goods under alternative electoral incentives

Alessandro Lizzeri, Nicola Persico

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Politicians who care about the spoils of office may underprovide a public good because its benefits cannot be targeted to voters as easily as pork-barrel spending. We compare a winner-take-all system - where all the spoils go to the winner - to a proportional system - where the spoils of office are split among candidates proportionally to their share of the vote. In a winner-take-all system the public good is provided less often than in a proportional system when the public good is particularly desirable. We then consider the electoral college system and show that it is particularly subject to this inefficiency.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)225-239
    Number of pages15
    JournalAmerican Economic Review
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2001

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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