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Specialization Decisions within Committee

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  • Gilligan, Thomas W
  • Krehbiel, Keith

Abstract

This study inspects specialization in legislatures by moving from a relatively macro level of analysis of committee-floor interaction to a relatively microlevel study of individual decision making within committee. This approach also addresses a common shortcoming in studies of specialization within committees: imperfect measurement. Signaling-theoretic reasoning provides a foundation for analysis of individual legislators' specialization decisions. Two testable conjectures are stated. One relates costs of specialization to the decision to specialization in an obvious fashion, and the other relates preference extremity to specialization in a manner that sharply contrasts a claim in recent literature on legislative participation. The empirical analysis centers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and provides support for the conjectures, first in an indirect but conventional manner (probit estimates on cosponsorship) and then in a more direct and unique manner that addresses the obstacle of imperfect measurement of specialization. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilligan, Thomas W & Krehbiel, Keith, 1997. "Specialization Decisions within Committee," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 366-386, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:13:y:1997:i:2:p:366-86
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2005. "Producing and Manipulating Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 185-199, January.
    2. Krehbiel, Keith, 2001. "Plausibility of Signals by a Heterogeneous Committee," Research Papers 1678, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Maja Kluger Rasmussen, 2015. "The Battle for Influence: The Politics of Business Lobbying in the European Parliament," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 365-382, March.
    4. Valeria Palanza & Carlos Scartascini & Mariano Tommasi, 2012. "On the Institutionalization of Congress(es) in Latin America and Beyond," Research Department Publications 4817, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Luke M. Froeb & Bernhard Ganglmair & Steven Tschantz, 2016. "Adversarial Decision Making: Choosing between Models Constructed by Interested Parties," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 527-548.
    6. Robert A.J. Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2001. "Producing and Manipulating Information: Private Information Providers versus Public Information Providers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-052/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2002. "Delegation or Voting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Klaas J. Beniers & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "On the Composition of Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-006/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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