SAFETEA-LU Earmarks in Minnesota, a Rural Advantage: Minnesota’s Other Growing Pork Industry

This paper explores the spatial distribution of earmarked transportation projects in Minnesota in the SAFETEA-LU transportation legislation. It is shown that earmarks are disproportionately found in rural areas and in Minnesota’s two congressional districts with representation on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. It is theorized that the earmarking process is optimized for political stability, and not for public utility. It is shown that earmarks are inefficient allocators of resources, in that they (1) distort the weight of citizens’ votes by emphasizing those with strong political representation on the transportation committee, (2) fail to consider the opportunity costs of pursuing vote-garnering projects and (3) do not explicitly consider long-range national transportation, social, economic, and environmental objectives.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01055811
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-1112
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:43PM