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Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays

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  • Alvarez, Michael R.
  • Saving, Jason

Abstract

The literature on the organization of the U.S. Congress has been dominated by 'distributive' and 'informational' theory. One important source of disagreement between these two theories is their characterization of whether individual legislators can engage in pork-barrel activities. Here the authors provide evidence which indicates that the pork barrel is alive and well in the contemporary U.S. Congress. They focus on whether members of power and constituency committees can direct disproportionate federal expenditures to their districts. Finding strong and systematic evidence of pork-barrel activities by committee members provides empirical support for distributive theories of legislative organization. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 898.

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Date of creation: Jan 1995
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Publication status: Published: Public Choice, August 1997, vol. 92, no. 1-2, 55-73
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:898

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Cited by:
  1. Cecilia Testa & Valentino Larcinse & Leonzio Rizzo, 2004. "The power of the purse: what do the data say on US federal budget allocation to the states?"," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 151, Econometric Society.
  2. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. DeBacker, Jason, 2011. "The price of pork: The seniority trap in the U.S. House," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 63-78, February.
  4. Christopher Duquette & Franklin Mixon & Richard Cebula, 2013. "The Impact of Legislative Tenure and Seniority on General Election Success: Econometric Evidence from U.S. House Races," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 161-172, June.
  5. Melissa Boyle & Victor Matheson, 2008. "Determinants of the Distribution of Congressional Earmarks Across States," Working Papers 0806, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  6. José Bercoff & Osvaldo Meloni, 2009. "Federal budget allocation in an emergent democracy: evidence from Argentina," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 65-83, January.
  7. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing home the bacon: an empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 279-299, October.
  8. Philippe Vedolim Duchateau & Basilia Aguirre, 2007. "Estrutura Política Como Determinante Dos Gastos Federais," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 031, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  9. Joseph McGarrity, 2005. "Macroeconomic conditions and committee re-election rates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 453-480, September.
  10. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "Technological Intensity of Government Demand and Innovation," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 135, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  11. Brian Knight, 2000. "The flypaper effect unstuck: evidence on endogenous grants from the Federal Highway Aid Program," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
  13. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2011. "The Impact of Government Procurement Composition on Private R&D Activities," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-036, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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