Politics, Promises, and Partisanship? An Analysis of President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan at the Congressional District Level

Source: Richard S. Conley, Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs, Volume 1, Issue 3, December 2013

From the abstract:
This research focuses on President Obama’s signature economic plan adopted in February 2009—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Using data available from Recovery.gov, the analysis refines prior efforts to test the thesis that partisanship has played a central role in the distribution of funds across congressional districts by distinguishing between total spending on infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs as of the end of the second quarter of 2010. Further, this research examines not only political and demographic factors relative to the locus of stimulus fund expenditures but also the expected and actual employment impact of ARRA by district. The analysis provides little evidence for the partisan theory of stimulus spending. Rather, the results accentuate the demographic characteristics of the districts that have thus far received stimulus money and putatively benefitted from the most jobs, in some ways counter to what the White House may have intended due to the complexities of fiscal federalism.