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Geographic Distribution of the Federal Stimulus of 2009
JAMES G. GIMPEL, FRANCES E. LEE, and REBECCA U. THORPE investigate why the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 did not always focus additional resources on areas where the recession’s downturn was most severe. They examine whether funds were allocated according to pork barrel politics or instead via “policy windows” through which advocates steered a diverse group of programs long desired for reasons unrelated to the recession. They find some support for both theories, but policy window effects were more important than pork barrel politics in accounting for distributional outcomes.
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