The Political Economy of Discretionary Spending: Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Christopher Boone, Arindrajit Dube, and Ethan Kaplan ,
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity

We study the spatial allocation of expenditures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), one of the largest discretionary funding bills in the history of the United States. Contrary to both evidence from previous fiscal stimulus and standard theories of legislative politics, we do not find evidence of substantial political targeting. Party leaders did not receive more funds than rank-and-file legislators. Pivotal voters in the Senate and swing voters in the House also did not receive more money.

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