Voting on Abortion in the House of Commons: A Test for Legislator Shirking
AbstractUsing an agency theory approach, this paper examines the tightness of the links in the relationship between Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs) and their respective constituents. The paper focuses on a 1988 parliamentary free vote on the abortion issue. It finds that MP voting on this issue did not appear to be influenced by the preferences of constituents, but was significantly influenced by the personal ideologies of the MPs themselves. Under an agency theory view, these results can be interpreted as evidence of "shirking" behaviour by legislators. Futhermore, to the extent that legislator shirking was found to exist, this shirking was more likely in constituencies where greater constituent-legislator slack was present. Greater constituent-legislator slack lowers the political cost to the legislator of engaging in shirking, since such shirking behaviour is less likely to be punished by constituents.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.
Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Toronto Press Journals Division 5201 Dufferin Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T8
Web page: http://economics.ca/cpp/
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Poole, Keith T & Romer, Thomas, 1993. " Ideology, "Shirking", and Representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 185-96, September.
- Longley, Neil, 1998. " Legislative Systems with Absolute Party Discipline: Implications for the Agency Theory Approach to the Constituent-Legislator Link," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 121-40, October.
- Medoff, Marshall H, 1988. "An Economic Analysis of the Demand for Abortions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 353-59, April.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Goff, Brian L & Grier, Kevin B, 1993. " On the (Mis)measurement of Legislator Ideology and Shirking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(1-2), pages 5-20, June.
- Stephan F. Gohmann & Robert L. Ohsfeldt, 1990. "Predicting State Abortion Legislation From U.S. Senate Votes: The Effects Of Apparent Ideological Shirking," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 9(4), pages 749-762, 06.
- Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972.
"Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
- Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Nelson, Douglas & Silberberg, Eugene, 1987. "Ideology and Legislator Shirking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 15-25, January.
- Zupan, Mark A, 1990. " The Last Period Problem in Politics: Do Congressional Representatives Not Subject to a Reelection Constraint Alter Their Voting Behavior?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(2), pages 167-80, May.
- Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
- Brady, David & Schwartz, Edward P, 1995. " Ideology and Interests in Congressional Voting: The Politics of Abortion in the U.S. Senate," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 25-48, July.
- Eric Crampton, 2002. "Distributive Politics in a Strong Party System: Evidence from Canadian Job Grant Programs," Microeconomics 0211001, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.