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Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays

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  • Alvarez, Michael R.
  • Saving, Jason

Abstract

The literature on the organization of the U.S. Congress has been dominated by 'distributive' and 'informational' theory. One important source of disagreement between these two theories is their characterization of whether individual legislators can engage in pork-barrel activities. Here the authors provide evidence which indicates that the pork barrel is alive and well in the contemporary U.S. Congress. They focus on whether members of power and constituency committees can direct disproportionate federal expenditures to their districts. Finding strong and systematic evidence of pork-barrel activities by committee members provides empirical support for distributive theories of legislative organization. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Alvarez, Michael R. & Saving, Jason, 1995. "Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Working Papers 898, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:898
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    Cited by:

    1. Deepak Hegde, 2009. "Political Influence behind the Veil of Peer Review: An Analysis of Public Biomedical Research Funding in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 665-690, November.
    2. Brian Knight, 2000. "The flypaper effect unstuck: evidence on endogenous grants from the Federal Highway Aid Program," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing home the bacon: an empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 279-299, October.
    4. Joshua Hall & Amanda Ross & Christopher Yencha, 2015. "The political economy of the Essential Air Service program," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 147-164, October.
    5. Boyle, Melissa A. & Matheson, Victor A., 2009. "Determinants of the distribution of congressional earmarks across states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 63-65, August.
    6. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
    7. Cortney S. Rodet, 2014. "Voter Behavior, Term Limits, and Seniority Advantage in Pork-Barrel Politics," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 170(4), pages 646-683, December.
    8. Philippe Vedolim Duchateau & Basilia Aguirre, 2007. "Estrutura Política Como Determinante Dos Gastos Federais," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 031, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. DeBacker, Jason, 2011. "The price of pork: The seniority trap in the U.S. House," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 63-78, February.
    10. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "Technological Intensity of Government Demand and Innovation," ifo Working Paper Series 135, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    11. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2014. "Fiscal Decentralization - a Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 59889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US Federal Budget to the States: the Impact of the President," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 03, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    13. José Bercoff & Osvaldo Meloni, 2009. "Federal budget allocation in an emergent democracy: evidence from Argentina," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 65-83, January.
    14. Joseph McGarrity, 2005. "Macroeconomic conditions and committee re-election rates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 453-480, September.
    15. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2011. "The Impact of Government Procurement Composition on Private R&D Activities," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-036, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    16. Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "The Role of Public Procurement in Innovation: Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 43.
    17. Cecilia Testa & Valentino Larcinse & Leonzio Rizzo, 2004. "The power of the purse: what do the data say on US federal budget allocation to the states?"," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 151, Econometric Society.
    18. Christopher Duquette & Franklin Mixon & Richard Cebula, 2013. "The Impact of Legislative Tenure and Seniority on General Election Success: Econometric Evidence from U.S. House Races," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 161-172, June.
    19. Fowler, Anthony & Hall, Andrew B., 2015. "Congressional seniority and pork: A pig fat myth?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 42-56.

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