Allocation refers to the apportionment of resources to serve different purposes. Since resources are scarce, individuals or groups compete to gain a share of such limited resources to achieve their own goals. There are different mechanisms of allocation. In economics, for example, the price system is one mechanism that determines the way resources (e.g., goods and services) are distributed to meet the demands of consumers. Politics is another such mechanism. The issues of allocation are particularly pertinent to the topic of political behavior as the primary role of politicians (e.g., elected representatives) lies in allocating resources to best serve the competing demands of their own supporters (e.g., voters). This entry introduces research on allocation in the context of political behavior and explains how politics ...

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