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Intergovernmental transfers and political competition measured by pivotal probability - Evidence from Hungary

Andras Gregor

European Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 62, issue C

Abstract: I estimate the effects of political competition on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers to Hungarian municipalities between 1998 and 2006. The intergovernmental transfers were intended to finance schooling, elder care, and administrative needs in municipalities. Rather than use closeness of the dominant blocks' vote share, which is the standard measure of political competition, I instead employ (Myerson, 2000)'s pivotal probabilities, calculated at the municipality level. As a result, the number of voters, in addition to the vote difference, is taken into account when describing political competition at the municipal level. I argue that under mixed-member proportional systems, as well as under proportional systems in general, pivotal probability reflects the political reality better than closeness can. I find evidence that swing municipalities in villages are targeted and, ceteris paribus, that poorer regions receive larger transfer amounts than other areas.

Keywords: Probabilistic voting; Grants; Intergovernmental relations; Political economy; Hungary (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H72 H77 D78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2019.101841

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