Using data on federal highway grants from the Department of Transportation’s Federal High- way Administration, this paper investigates several questions regarding the political economy of highway funding. We investigate the period 1994 - 2008 and examine whether political align- ment and political ideology play a role in determining how much highway funding per capita a state receives. We find evidence that Republican-dominated House of Representatives del-egations receive more highway funding per capita compared to Democrats, especially in rural states. We also find that senators in the party of the president are able to secure more highway funding per capita. Overall, the distribution of highway spending over this time period appears to have been determined by political rather than deterministic considerations and in a way that is consistent with how the Interstate Highway System has distributed Republican voters to rural areas.
federal highway administration grants political alignment political ideology