The bidding game: Competitive funding regimes and the political targeting of urban programme schemes

Peter John*, Hugh Ward, Keith Dowding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Public bodies adopt procedures for the competitive bidding for funds in the belief that they improve public welfare, while critics regard such practices as a waste of resources and open to political manipulation. We test the operation of a competitive bidding regime through Tobit models of data drawn from successful and unsuccessful bids in four years of the Single Regeneration Budget programme in England. We derive hypotheses from a model of competitive bidding, the official evaluation of the programme and the pork-barrel literature. Our data and statistical models show that successive rounds did not greatly improve the quality of the bids, did not systematically reward needy communities and diverted resources to ministers' parliamentary seats in some regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-428
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

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