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Clients and ConstituentsPolitical Responsiveness in Patronage Democracies$
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Jennifer Bussell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190945398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190945398.001.0001

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When Is Responsiveness Partisan Bias?

When Is Responsiveness Partisan Bias?

(p.265) 10 When Is Responsiveness Partisan Bias?
Clients and Constituents

Jennifer Bussell

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 evaluates the conditions under which politicians will allocate benefits in a contingent, versus noncontingent, manner. It shows that citizens living in areas that offered strong support to a politician in the last election are much more likely to receive spending from that politician’s constituency development fund (CDF). Drawing on data from the experiment, it then compares the behavior of politicians spending their CDF funds with responses to the experimental audit of responsiveness. This shows that, while patterns of electoral support predict behavior with regard to partisan targeting, they offer less explanatory value for understanding patterns of constituency service. Thus, the same factors cannot explain both partisan bias and constituency service, and the same individuals who engage in noncontingent individual assistance may also target group-based benefits in a largely partisan manner.

Keywords:   constituency service, partisan bias, constituency development fund (CDF), contingent, noncontingent

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