Are Contributions Rational? Untangling Strategies of Political Action Committees
Empirical public choice literature and casual observation suggest that the behavior of political action committees is remarkably unsophisticated, meaning that political action committees give to those legislators who would support their interests anyway. Thus, it is suggested that contributor behavior deviates from rational behavior, which is a cornerstone of economic analysis. In this paper, a switching regression model is estimated that allows for strategies of political action committees to vary for different contribution recipients. The author analyzes the behavior of farm political action committees over three election cycles. In contrast to previous findings, he finds that contributor behavior is not inconsistent with rational behavior. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.
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