Do individual representatives influence government transfers? Evidence from Japan

  • Hirano S
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Abstract

Conventional wisdom is that during the second half of the twentieth century, Japanese Diet members served as "pipelines" between the national treasury and their constituents. This article employs two identification strategies to estimate how much individual Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) incumbents in the Lower House of the Diet influenced the distribution of government transfers during the period 1977 to 1992. The first exploits the changes in representation following the midterm deaths of Japanese representatives. The second uses the discontinuity in LDP representation when LDP candidates win or lose elections by very narrow margins. Overall, the influence of individual representatives on central-to-locality transfers is relatively small. However, the LDP incumbents who win office by small electoral margins do appear to affect per capita central government transfers to the municipalities where the incumbent had substantial electoral support. © Copyright Southern Political Science Association 2011.

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Authors

  • Shigeo Hirano

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