Reputational capital, opportunism, and self-policing in legislatures
This paper examines the question of whether reputational capital can deter opportunistic behavior among legislators preparing to exit the House of Representatives. I create a measure of reputational trustworthiness, based upon pooled samples of constituency opinion derived from the National Election Studies surveys. I then examine the extent to which such reputational good will among constituents deters lame-duck foreign travel by exiting House incumbents within the context of a quasi-experimental research design. The analysis suggests that legislators may be ‘self-policed’ by their reputations for honesty and trustworthiness to the point of discouraging unethical activity. urveys. I then examine the extent to which such s derived from the National Election Studies Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005
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