Public resources are often allocated neither effectively nor equitably, and they serve as a tool for securing re-election. Despite compelling evidence for pork-barrel politics, little is known about voters’ perceptions of this practice. Moreover, limited findings from Western countries are also contradictory – voters perceive such a strategy both positively and negatively. To contribute with findings from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), we conducted two survey experiments – in Czechia and Slovakia – which randomized people’s exposure to fairness of the distribution and profit for the respondent’s country. Our results suggest that once voters realize their profit from pork-barrel politics, they are less critical of unfair distributions of resources and the responsible decision-maker.
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