Date of Completion

Summer 8-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

Ronald Schurin

Honors Major

Political Science


American Politics | Political Science


This study attempts to analyze the underlying factors and motives influencing the allocation of discretionary state expenditures. The fact that some cities receive more money than other cities begs the question of what accounts for this variation. After framing the provision of state money within the theoretical framework of political patronage, a case study of Governor Rowland’s tenure in office and the accompanying expenditures to Connecticut’s 17 largest cities from 1995 to 2004 was conducted to evaluate whether a disproportionate amount of money was given to Rowland’s hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut. Besides employing a statistical analysis that determined that cities with similar characteristics received different amounts of money, interviewing was conducted to identify reasons for such variation. The results indicate that Waterbury received a greater amount of money than was predicted based on the city’s economic and demographic characteristics, and that non-objective and biased factors such as favoritism, the need to reward political support, or the desire to increase political loyalty sometimes take precedence over more objective factors.