The Impact of Career Politicians: Evidence from US Governors
Kyklos, 2021, vol. 74, issue 1, 103-125
This paper exploits the presence of Congressional experience in US governors that permits the identification of the relationship between political career experience and intergovernmental transfers. I assemble a novel dataset of governors’ political background and match this to federal transfer data from 1950 to 2008. Governors with Congressional experience have 0.8 percentage points more transfers to their state. I show evidence for one potential channel that this may act through, the federal grants system. The findings are robust to outliers in the data, selection effects, close elections and an alternative dependent variable based on a state’s share of total federal transfers
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