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Bringing home the bacon: An empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics

Elections Government grants Political campaigns Pork barrelling Infrastructure Australia

Which electorates receive targeted funding, and does targeted funding swing votes? To answer these questions, the author analyzes four discretionary programs funded by the Australian federal government during the 2001-2004 election cycle. Controlling for relevant demographic characteristics of the electorate, those electorates held by the governing coalition received a larger share of discretionary funding, and a larger number of program grants. Among government seats, funding does not appear to have been directed towards those that were more marginal. More discretionary funding – particularly on road-building – was associated with a larger swing towards the government in the 2004 election.

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