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A Test of Shirking under Legislative and Citizen Vote: The Case of State Lottery Adoption

  • Garrett, Thomas A

Legislators vote on numerous issues, many of which are not offered for citizen vote. As a result, most previous studies of legislative shirking have used only data on legislators' votes and the characteristics of the legislators' constituencies. The case of state lottery adoption allows a direct test of how well legislators voted according to the preferences of their constituencies, since both voters and legislators voted on the issue. In addition, the legislative vote on lottery adoption occurred before the citizen vote, thus forcing legislators to accurately forecast constituency preferences. Examining West Virginia legislators, I first find the lottery preferences of each legislator's average and core constituencies. I then compare each legislator's actual vote on lottery adoption to his or her predicted vote. After considering all possible determinants of legislators' votes, I find an average of 28 percent of West Virginia legislators still failed to vote according to their constituencies' majority preferences. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 189-208

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:1:p:189-208
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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