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Shirking and Political Support in the U.S. Senate, 1964-1984


  • Wright, Matthew B


Several empirical studies have suggested that legislators engage in a surprisingly large degree of on-the-job consumption or ideological behavior. These findings cast doubt on the hypothesis that legislators can be modeled as though they seek to maximize political support. This paper attempts to determine whether commonly used proxies for ideology in fact represent behavior to which voters are averse. The results show that legislators who engage in more of this behavior lose general-election support without generally receiving compensating increases in party-primary support. A corollary to this result is that voters punish shirking legislators significantly. Copyright 1993 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Wright, Matthew B, 1993. "Shirking and Political Support in the U.S. Senate, 1964-1984," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(1-2), pages 103-123, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:76:y:1993:i:1-2:p:103-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Winer, Stanley L, 1983. "Some Evidence on the Effect of the Separation of Spending and Taxing Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 126-140, February.
    2. Chu, Hong-Yih, 2003. "The Dual-Illusion of Grants-in-Aid on Central and Local Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 349-359, March.
    3. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph, 1996. "Interest groups: A survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 403-442, November.

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