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Specialization Decisions within Committee

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  • Gilligan, Thomas W
  • Krehbiel, Keith
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    Abstract

    This study inspects specialization in legislatures by moving from a relatively macro level of analysis of committee-floor interaction to a relatively microlevel study of individual decision making within committee. This approach also addresses a common shortcoming in studies of specialization within committees: imperfect measurement. Signaling-theoretic reasoning provides a foundation for analysis of individual legislators' specialization decisions. Two testable conjectures are stated. One relates costs of specialization to the decision to specialization in an obvious fashion, and the other relates preference extremity to specialization in a manner that sharply contrasts a claim in recent literature on legislative participation. The empirical analysis centers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and provides support for the conjectures, first in an indirect but conventional manner (probit estimates on cosponsorship) and then in a more direct and unique manner that addresses the obstacle of imperfect measurement of specialization. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 366-86

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:13:y:1997:i:2:p:366-86

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    Cited by:
    1. Robert A.J. Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2001. "Producing and Manipulating Information: Private Information Providers versus Public Information Providers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-052/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Klaas J. Beniers & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "On the Composition of Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-006/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Krehbiel, Keith, 2001. "Plausibility of Signals by a Heterogeneous Committee," Research Papers 1678, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Robert Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2005. "Producing and Manipulating Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 185-199, 01.
    5. Klaas J. Beniers & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "On the Composition of Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-006/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2002. "Delegation or Voting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2002. "Delegation or Voting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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