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Committee Jurisdiction, Congressional Behavior and Policy Outcomes

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  • John M. de Figueiredo

Abstract

The literature on congressional committees has largely overlooked the impact of jurisdictional fights on policy proposals and outcomes. This paper develops a theory of how legislators balance the benefits of expanded committee jurisdiction against preferred policy outcomes. It shows why a) senior members and young members in safe districts are most likely to challenge a committee's jurisdiction; b) policy proposals may be initiated off the proposer's ideal point in order to obtain jurisdiction; c) policy outcomes will generally be more moderate with jurisdictional fights than without these turf wars. We empirically investigate these results examining proposed Internet intellectual property protection legislation in the 106th Congress.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. de Figueiredo, 2011. "Committee Jurisdiction, Congressional Behavior and Policy Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 17171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17171
    Note: LE PE POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John M. de Figueiredo & Brian S. Silverman, 2002. "Academic Earmarks and the Returns to Lobbying," NBER Working Papers 9064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-163, February.
    3. Kroszner Randall S. & Stratmann Thomas S., 2000. "Congressional Committees as Reputation-building Mechanisms," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, April.
    4. Balla, Steven J, 2000. "Legislative Organization and Congressional Review of Agency Regulations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 424-448, October.
    5. Snyder, James M, Jr, 1992. "Long-Term Investing in Politicians; or, Give Early, Give Often," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 15-43, April.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:03:p:797-820_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:657-671_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
    9. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, July.
    10. de Figueiredo, John M & Silverman, Brian S, 2006. "Academic Earmarks and the Returns to Lobbying," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 597-625, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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