A test for pure or apparent ideology in congressional voting
A politician's preferences do matter. He is not simply a captured agent speaking only for his constituent's interests. Some latitude exists for him to shirk his responsibility to serve his constituents' interests and to cast votes consistent with his own personal ideology. More important to our understanding and modeling of voting behavior, shirking for ideological consumption is seen to increase with age once a threshold of about 53 years old is reached. Shirking is not a phenomena of the politicians' final term in office, rather it likely exists in every term and begins to increase significantly two terms prior to the expected horizon. Sixty percent of the sample of senators were seen to exhibit increasing ideological consumption with age. Other studies have attempted to distinguish the investment and consumption components of ideological measures by more appropriately characterizing the constituent interest variables (Peltzman, 1984) or purifying the ideological variable (Kalt and Zupan, 1988; Kau and Rubin, 1979). Of course, one might always ask, are the variables now properly characterized and completely pure? This paper takes a different approach. It shows that the ideological measure, as an explanatory tool, increases in importance with age. Our explanation is that there is a true ideological component imbedded in the measure and politicians do, in fact, shirk their constituents' interests to engage in ideological consumption. Because an approaching horizon lowers its price, ideological consumption increases with age. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Stephen Goldfeld & Richard Quandt, 1973. "The Estimation of Structural Shifts by Switching Regressions," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 2, number 4, pages 475-485 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Lott, 1987. "Political cheating," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 169-186, January.
- Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1979. "Self-Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 365-84, October.
- George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
- Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
- Ryan Amacher & William Boyes, 1978. "Cycles in senatorial voting behavior: implications for the optimal frequency of elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 5-13, January.
- Porter, Philip K & Scully, Gerald W, 1987. "Economic Efficiency in Cooperatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 489-512, October.
- Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
- Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:60:y:1989:i:2:p:101-111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.