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Linear Probability Models of the Demand for Attributes with an Empirical Application to Estimating the Preferences of Legislators

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  • James J. Heckman
  • James M. Snyder, Jr.

Abstract

This paper formulates and estimates a rigorously-justified linear probability model of binary choices over alternatives characterized by unobserved attributes. The model is applied to estimate preferences of congressmen as expressed in their votes on bills. The effective dimension of the attribute space characterizing votes is larger than what has been estimated in recent influential studies of congressional voting by Poole and Rosenthal. Congressmen vote on more than ideology. Issue-specific attributes are an important determinant of congressional" voting patterns. The estimated dimension is too large for the median voter model to describe congressional voting

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5785.

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Date of creation: Oct 1996
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5785

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  1. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  2. Pudney, Stephen E, 1980. "Disaggregated Demand Analysis: The Estimation of a Class of Non-linear Demand Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 875-92, October.
  3. Heckman, James & Scheinkman, Jose, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 243-55, April.
  4. Henry Brady, 1989. "Factor and ideal point analysis for interpersonally incomparable data," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 181-202, June.
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