Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-24T13:23:00.141Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

County Over Party: How Governors Prioritized Geography Not Particularism in the Distribution of Opportunity Zones

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2021

David Glick*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Maxwell Palmer
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail: dmglick@bu.edu

Abstract

Allocating resources is a central function of government, and the distributive politics literature provides considerable evidence of leaders around the world directing resources to co-partisan voters and officials. In the United States, studies of ‘presidential particularism’ have recently demonstrated strategic targeting by the federal executive branch. This letter extends the inquiry to states using an unusually rich case in which all governors simultaneously faced decisions about allocating a constrained resource – tax advantaged status for economic development – from an exogenously generated list of geographic possibilities. This study tests whether governors rewarded their supporters' and allies' areas alongside two alternatives: (1) spreading the wealth by geographic subunits and (2) policy need. It finds no evidence of gubernatorial particularism. Instead, Republicans and Democratic governors prioritized allocating opportunity zones geographically and made efforts to designate at least one in each county. They were also responsive to policy need.

Type
Letter
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Ansolabehere, S and Snyder, JM (2006) Party control of state government and the distribution of public expenditures. Scandinavian Journal of Economics 108(4), 547569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, CR, Burden, BC and Howell, WG (2010) The president and the distribution of federal spending. American Political Science Review 104(4), 783799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cramer Walsh, K (2012) Putting inequality in its place: rural consciousness and the power of perspective. American Political Science Review 106(3), 517532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dahlberg, M and Johansson, E (2002) On the vote-purchasing behavior of incumbent governments. American political Science Review 96(1), 2740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dynes, AM and Huber, GA (2015) Partisanship and the allocation of federal spending: do same-party legislators or voters benefit from shared party affiliation with the president and house majority? American Political Science Review 109(1), 172186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Einstein, KL et al. (2020) Menino survey of mayors. Boston University Initiative on Cities. Available from https://www.surveyofmayors.com/.Google Scholar
Elliott, J, Ernsthausen, J and Edwards, K (2019) A Trump tax break to help the poor went to a rich GOP donor's superyacht marina. ProPublica, 14 November. Available from https://www.propublica.org/article/superyacht-marina-west-palm-beach-opportunity-zone-trump-tax-break-to-help-the-poor-went-to-a-rich-gop-donor.Google Scholar
Glick, DM, Palmer, M (2021) Replication data for: county over party: how governors prioritized geography not particularism in the distribution of opportunity zones, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/MY3GI1, Harvard Dataverse, V1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gose, J (2020) Despite challenges, Opportunity Zones provide much-needed capital. New York Times, 24 November.Google Scholar
Jagoda, N (2020) Democrats seek information on Treasury's administration of ‘opportunity zone’ program. The Hill, 24 June. Available from https://thehill.com/policy/finance/504377-democrats-seek-information-on-treasurys-administration-of-opportunity-zone.Google Scholar
Jensen, NM and Malesky, EJ (2018) Incentives to Pander: How Politicians use Corporate Welfare for Political Gain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kriner, DL and Reeves, A (2015) Presidential particularism and divide-the-dollar politics. American Political Science Review 109(1), 155171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larcinese, V, Rizzo, L and Testa, C (2006) Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the president. The Journal of Politics 68(2), 447456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lenz, G and Sahn, A (2020) Achieving statistical significance with control variables and without transparency. Political Analysis 29(3), 356369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lowry, S and Marples, DJ (2020) Tax incentives for opportunity zones. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Report R45152. Available from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45152.pdf.Google Scholar
Michener, J (2018) Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nicholson-Crotty, S (2015) Governors, Grants, and Elections: Fiscal Federalism in the American States. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Payson, JA (2020) Cities, lobbyists, and representation in multilevel government. American Political Science Review.Google Scholar
Reeves, A (2011) Political disaster: unilateral powers, electoral incentives, and presidential disaster declarations. The Journal of Politics 73(4), 11421151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rodden, JA (2019) Why Cities Lose. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Tankersley, J (2018) Tucked into the tax bill, a plan to help distressed America. The New York Times, 29 January.Google Scholar
Theodos, B, Jorge, G and Meixell, B (2020) The Opportunity Zone incentive isn't living up to its equitable development goals. Here are four ways to improve it. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
Theodos, B, Meixell, B and Hedman, C (2018) Did States Maximize their Opportunity Zone Selections. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
Weir, M, Wolman, H and Swanstrom, T (2005) The calculus of coalitions: cities, suburbs, and the metropolitan agenda. Urban Affairs Review 40(6), 730760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Glick and Palmer Dataset

Link
Supplementary material: PDF

Glick and Palmer supplementary material

Glick and Palmer supplementary material

Download Glick and Palmer supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 206.2 KB