The provision of public goods under alternative electoral incentives

Alessandro Lizzeri, Nicola Persico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

377 Scopus citations


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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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