We study the role of political institutions in the regional allocation of public infrastructure investments in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. We estimate the regional variation in the allocation for each country, controlling for the potential endogeneity of its impact on growth and distribution. We compare the importance of political institutions, federalism and the electoral system, with the normative criteria, efficiency, redistribution and equality. We find that on the macro-level there is some evidence that different national institutions do indeed shape political competition, but that partisan politics and, in particular, normative principles are overall more influential across all types of political systems.
Kemmerling, A. & Stephan, A. (2015). Comparative political economy of regional transport infrastructure investment in Europe. Journal of Comparative Economics, 43(1), 227-239. DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.08.002