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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 S. Sobel

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

  • Matt Ryan

    (Department of Economics, East Armpit University)

Abstract

It is well established that geographic areas benefit, in terms of the share of government spending they capture, from having a legislator with higher 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. Drawing on the literature that uses an industrial organization framework to analyze legislative institutions, we explore the effects of average tenure and disparity in tenure on legislative production. Consistent with Holcombe and Parker (1991) we find that both factors help to enclose the legislative common pool.

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File URL: http://www.be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/09-11.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 09-11.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:09-11

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  1. 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.
  2. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
  3. 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.
  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. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & James M. Poterba, 1994. "Congressional Distributive Politics and State Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 4721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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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