Factions and Political Competition

This paper presents a new model of political competition in which candidates belong to factions. Before elections, factions compete to direct local public goods to their local constituencies. The model of factional competition delivers a rich set of implications relating the internal organization of the party to the allocation of resources. In doing so, the model provides a unified explanation of two prominent features of public resource allocations: the persistence of (possibly inefficient) policies and the tendency of public spending to favor incumbent party strongholds over swing constituencies.