Buying turnout or rewarding loyalists? Electoral mobilization and EU structural funding in the German Länder

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Series Details Vol.15, No.2, June 2014, p277-288
Publication Date June 2014
ISSN 1465-1165
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This research note elaborates on the role of electoral mobilization in the allocation of EU structural funding. Revising current findings on the German Länder, I show that stronghold regions with a high level of electoral mobilization receive more money. This strategy is conceptualized as ‘rewarding loyalists.’ The article argues that due to temporally stable turnout levels, incumbents have incentives to favor stronghold regions with high turnout rates. Hence, incumbents use differences in the level of electoral mobilization to make distributive decisions among their many core constituencies. To test for spatial interdependencies and autocorrelation, I use a spatial autoregressive model as a robustness check. Even though the data shows spatial interdependencies, the results remain the same.

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