Constituents' economic interests and senator support for spending limitations
Peltzman [Peltzman, S., 1984. Constituent interest and congressional voting. Journal of Law and Economics 27, 181-210] argues that if constituents' economic interests have well-defined "winners and losers" and are appropriately measured, then constituents' economic interests, and not legislator ideology, are the most important determinates of legislator voting. We test Peltzman's theory by examining senatorial voting on three mandated spending limitation bills. We find, consistent with Peltzman's theory, that the ratio of federal spending in a senator's state to federal taxes paid by that state, and not a senator's personal ideology, matters on legislation where there are well-defined economic "winners and losers." This is particularly important because unlike other constituents' economic interest measures that only impact a fraction of the constituency, the ratio of federal spending to federal taxes in a state represents the economic interests of all the constituents in a state.
Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
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