Gherghina, S.  and Marian, C. (2023) Win big, buy more: political parties, competition and electoral clientelism. East European Politics.

Political parties use electoral clientelism to mobilise their core voters and to persuade swing voters to support them. Earlier research shows that clientelism occurs more often in highly competitive elections. Against these conclusions, this article argues that a large margin of victory can drive the use of electoral clientelism irrespective of the type of constituency. The analysis uses county-level data from the 2020 election campaign in Romania and shows that electoral clientelism is used more in those constituencies with a clear winner. These effects are robust when controlling for socio-economic vulnerability and the percentage of the urban population.