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Bribery or Just Desserts? Evidence on the Influence of Congressional Voting Patterns on PAC Contributions from Exogenous Variation in the Sex Mix of Legislator Offspring


  • Dalton Conley
  • Brian J. McCabe


Evidence on the relationship between political contributions and legislators' voting behavior is marred by concerns about endogeneity in the estimation process. Using a legislator's offspring sex mix as an exogenous variable, we employ a two-stage least squares estimation procedure to predict the effect of voting behavior on political contributions. Following previous research, we find that a legislator's proportion daughters has a significant effect on voting behavior for women's issues, as measured by score in the "Congressional Record on Choice" issued by NARAL Pro-Choice America. In the second stage, we make a unique contribution by demonstrating a significant impact of exogenous voting behavior on PAC contributions, lending credibility to the hypothesis that Political Action Committees respond to legislators' voting patterns by "rewarding" political candidates that vote in line with the positions of the PAC, rather than affecting or "bribing" those same votes -- at least in this high profile policy domain.

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  • Dalton Conley & Brian J. McCabe, 2008. "Bribery or Just Desserts? Evidence on the Influence of Congressional Voting Patterns on PAC Contributions from Exogenous Variation in the Sex Mix of Legislator Offspring," NBER Working Papers 13945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13945
    Note: PE POL

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "The Demand for Sons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1085-1120.
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    3. Grier, Kevin B & Munger, Michael C, 1991. "Committee Assignments, Constituent Preferences, and Campaign Contributions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 24-43, January.
    4. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
    5. Borck, Rainald, 1996. "Ideology and Interest Groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 147-160, July.
    6. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
    7. Randall S. Kroszner & Thomas Stratmann, 1999. "Does Political Ambiguity Pay? Corporate Campaign contributions and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 155, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    8. Stratmann, Thomas, 1996. "How Reelection Constituencies Matter: Evidence from Political Action Committees' Contributions and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 603-635, October.
    9. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes? Or, Do Donors Support Candidates Who Value the Same Things That They Do?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 317-350, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fagan, Frank & Bilgel, Fırat, 2015. "Sunsets and federal lawmaking: Evidence from the 110th Congress," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-6.

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    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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