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Vote Buying in the US Congress

Author

Listed:
  • Ulrich Matter
  • Paolo Roberti
  • Michaela Slotwinski

Abstract

We assess the influence of moneyed interests on legislative decisions. Our theory predicts that the vote outcome distribution and donation flows in a legislature feature a discontinuity at the approval threshold of bills if special interest groups are involved in vote buying. Testing the theoretical predictions based on two decades of roll-call voting in the U.S. House, we identify the link between narrowly passed bills and well-timed campaign contributions. Several pieces of evidence substantiate our main finding, suggesting that moneyed interests exert remarkably effective control over the passage of contested bills.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Matter & Paolo Roberti & Michaela Slotwinski, 2019. "Vote Buying in the US Congress," CESifo Working Paper Series 7841, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7841
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    legislative voting; campaign finance; special interest groups; lobbying; forensic economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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