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Abstract

The three essays below seek to characterize ways in which distributive and electoral politics affect policy outcomes. The first essay concerns the use of incentives or disincentives to achieve a policy goal and asks how the redistributive implications of these policy instruments might affect a population's preferred means by which to achieve this goal, a preference it ultimately exerts through elections. The second essay asks how incumbency and incumbent uncertainty about challenger quality (e.g., with regards to ability to procure distributive benefits for the constituency) affect the policy promises that candidates make in elections. The third essay -- co-authored with Chris Berry and Will Howell -- investigates whether party leaders manipulate the distribution of federal spending in order to "buy votes" to secure passage of legislation that would not pass otherwise. The animating questions in each case surround the roles that elections and distributive pressures play in shaping the majority preference and thus determining which policies emerge from the policymaking process. ,NB: Essay-specific abstracts precede each chapter.

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