Electoral Politics and the Inter-Governmental Allocation of Resources: Evidence from Greece

Electoral politics and clientelism are not new notions. Yet, the often suspected utilisation of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes activity (pork-barrelling) has been difficult to identify until recently. 

A relatively recent trend involves studies utilising publicly available data on resource allocation and electoral results and being able to econometrically derive evidence of political considerations in the allocation of resources. This project examines the interrelationship between the allocation of public funds and the electoral outcomes using the example of Greece. A panel dataset which combines data from the Greek local and national elections and municipalities’ budgets for the period 2003-2010 is used to test a number of theoretically informed hypotheses.


The objectives of this project is to deliver a range of policy-relevant outputs such as academic publications, blogs and policy briefings. These will address a number of research questions such as:

  • Does political considerations affect the allocation of resources from the national to the local government level?
  • To what extend the misallocation of resources affects electoral outcomes?
  • What is the impact on socio-economic performance outcomes?
  • Can similar patterns be found in other countries?

Current findings suggest that municipalities which are politically aligned to the national government receive more grants in the run-up to national elections. The results call for greater fiscal decentralisation in order to reduce the dependency relationship between the local and national government levels and eradicate the use of intergovernmental transfers for political gain.

Research team

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Funder/client: University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School


Tasos KitsosProject lead: Tasos Kitsos