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Seniority and anti-competitive restrictions on the legislative common pool: tenure’s impact on the overall production of legislation and the concentration of political benefits

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  • Russell Sobel

    ()

  • Matt Ryan

Abstract

It is well established that geographic areas benefit, in terms of the share of government spending they capture, from having a legislator with longer tenure, holding constant the tenure of other legislators. However, the implications of this literature for how the total production of legislation changes if all members gained seniority is less clear. Increased levels and dispersion of seniority within Congress generate a cartel-like effect, whereby legislators restrict the quantity of legislation enacted and increase the average price of each passed bill. The analysis provides a natural experiment to gauge the impacts of the emergence of the congressional committee system. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-011-9780-4
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 153 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 171-190

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:153:y:2012:i:1:p:171-190

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Seniority; Tenure; Industrial organization of Congress; Legislative behavior;

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  1. McCormick, Robert E & Tollison, Robert D, 1978. "Legislatures as Unions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 63-78, February.
  2. Levitt, Steven D & Poterba, James M, 1999. " Congressional Distributive Politics and State Economic Performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 185-216, April.
  3. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
  4. Holcombe, Randall G & Parker, Glenn R, 1991. " Committees in Legislatures: A Property Rights Perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 11-20, April.
  5. Leibowitz, Arleen & Tollison, Robert, 1980. "A Theory of Legislative Organization: Making the Most of Your Majority," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 261-77, March.
  6. Holcombe, Randall G, 1999. " Veterans Interests and the Transition to Government Growth: 1870-1915," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 311-26, June.
  7. Crain, W Mark, 1977. "On the Structure and Stability of Political Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 829-42, August.
  8. Parker, Glenn R, 1992. " The Distribution of Honoraria Income in the U.S. Congress: Who Gets Rents in Legislatures and Why?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 167-81, March.
  9. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-63, February.
  10. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  11. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  12. Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1985. "Legislation and Political Business Cycles," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59.
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Cited by:
  1. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Governor’s term and information disclosure: Evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 45848, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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