US Governors: The Impact of Career “Politicians”

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Written By LawrenceGarcia

Demystifying the world of finance, one article at a time.





Introduction of Politicians

Professionalization in politics refers to the adherence to certain values and standards by politicians in order to improve their chances of success (Black, 1970). These values are not the only factors that influence how successful or ineffective a politician is. Career experience can also play a part. There are many “career politicians” in today’s political sphere. This term is used to describe politicians who only pursue politics and do not have a career beyond government or the political bubbles. Dreher et. al. have done some research to determine whether these types of politicians behave differently. 


The extent to which career politicians can implement pro-liberal policies changes is explained in Dreher et al. (2009). Another literature describes the existence of career politicians (Mattozzi & Merlo 2008) and their career lord business decisions (Keane & Merlo 2010, 2010). The old approach was to include all political careers into one definition. This approach often fails to recognize heterogeneity and is not reliable. As different career paths require different skills, a more disaggregated approach may be needed to consider political careers.

This paper examines the relationship between Graduate Analyst intergovernmental transfers and political career experience. It is based on Congressional experience in US governors. The US transfer system offers a unique opportunity to see the impact that career politicians can have. Particularly, I will focus on my previous career in Congress. This includes having served in the lower or the upper legislative houses in the US. A competency-based theory is what I come up with. The testable hypothesis is that governors who have had experience in Congress are more politically savvy and therefore more effective in lobbying for federal funds.

There is extensive literature that has examined how the federal budget is distributed to states. (See Berry et. al., 2010; Albouy 2013, 2013). The relevant characteristics of the governor of the state receiving the federal budget are not known. This is in addition to the role of partisan alignment. These details are important because it helps to understand how politicians behave and to see the factors that influence their human capital stock. 1 At the moment, we have very little evidence about the influence of sub-national leaders on intergovernmental transfers (Veiga & Pinho, 2007).

I have a large panel of data on US federal-to-state transfers over the period 1950 to 2008. I collect data from the National Governors Association website on US governors’ Congressional service and personal backgrounds. In order to identify the impact of Congressional experience on transfers, I use a difference-in-differences style approach and test for a number of threats business asset disposal relief to identification. Summarising, I found that governors who served previously as members of Congress increase the growth rate for transfers to their states by 0.8 percentage points. To assess the common trends assumption, I performed an event-study and found no evidence of problematic pre- or after-treatment trends. I address selection concerns by demonstrating that the election experienced governors seems idiosyncratic, and therefore not problematic.