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Voter Behavior and Seniority Advantage in Pork Barrel Politics

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  • Rodet, Cortney S.

Abstract

This paper uses experiments to explore electoral accountability in a legislative system that favors seniority. Voters face a trade-off between pork barrel transfers and policy representation. Term limits are tested as a mechanism to reduce the cost of searching for a legislator who better represents voters on policy, as well as reducing the resulting asymmetric distribution of income. Subjects’ preferences on abortion are used in an innovative means of capturing incumbents’ policy choices where subject legislators vote to determine whether a donation is allocated to either a pro-choice or pro-life foundation.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33192/
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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49862/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33192.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33192

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Keywords: voting; legislature; term limits; experiments;

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References

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  1. Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
    [The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  2. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2010. "Pork Versus Public Goods: An Experimental Study of Public Good Provision Within a Legislative Bargaining Framework," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/37, European University Institute.
  3. Alvarez, Michael R. & Saving, Jason, 1995. "Deficits, Democrats, and Distributive Benefits: Congressional Elections and the Pork Barrel in the 1980s," Working Papers 928, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Friedman, Daniel & Wittman, Donald, 1995. "Why voters vote for incumbents but against incumbency: A rational choice explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-83, May.
  5. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2004. "Proposal Rights and Political Power," Wallis Working Papers WP38, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  6. Lopez, Edward J, 2003. " Term Limits: Causes and Consequences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 1-56, January.
  7. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1515, Econometric Society.
  8. Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Brian Knight, 2004. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 10530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bender, Bruce & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. " Legislator Voting and Shirking: A Critical Review of the Literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 67-100, April.
  11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodet, Cortney S., 2011. "Fact Finding Trips to Italy: An experimental investigation of voter incentives," MPRA Paper 33193, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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