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Voter Behavior and Seniority Advantage in Pork Barrel Politics

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  • Rodet, Cortney S.

Abstract

This paper uses experiments to explore electoral accountability in a legislative system that favors seniority. Voters face a trade-off between pork barrel transfers and policy representation. Term limits are tested as a mechanism to reduce the cost of searching for a legislator who better represents voters on policy, as well as reducing the resulting asymmetric distribution of income. Subjects’ preferences on abortion are used in an innovative means of capturing incumbents’ policy choices where subject legislators vote to determine whether a donation is allocated to either a pro-choice or pro-life foundation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodet, Cortney S., 2011. "Voter Behavior and Seniority Advantage in Pork Barrel Politics," MPRA Paper 33192, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33192
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49862/9/MPRA_paper_49862.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:71:y:1977:i:01:p:177-181_25 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:01:p:142-157_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2004. "Proposal Rights and Political Power," Wallis Working Papers WP38, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    5. Alvarez, Michael R. & Saving, Jason, 1995. "Deficits, Democrats, and Distributive Benefits: Congressional Elections and the Pork Barrel in the 1980s," Working Papers 928, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    6. Fr Chette, Guillaume R. & Kagel, John H. & Lehrer, Steven F., 2003. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 97(02), pages 221-232, May.
    7. Guillaume Fréchette & John Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2012. "Pork versus public goods: an experimental study of public good provision within a legislative bargaining framework," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(3), pages 779-800, April.
    8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    9. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    10. Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2004. "Electoral Competition Between Between Two Candidates of Different Quality: The Effects of Candidate Ideology and Private Information," Working Papers 60, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    11. Jackson, Matthew O. & Moselle, Boaz, 2002. "Coalition and Party Formation in a Legislative Voting Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 49-87, March.
    12. Brian Knight, 2004. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 10530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Lopez, Edward J, 2003. "Term Limits: Causes and Consequences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 1-56, January.
    14. Bender, Bruce & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. "Legislator Voting and Shirking: A Critical Review of the Literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 67-100, April.
    15. Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies," Introductory Chapters,in: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies Princeton University Press.
    16. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
    17. Friedman, Daniel & Wittman, Donald, 1995. "Why voters vote for incumbents but against incumbency: A rational choice explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-83, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodet, Cortney S., 2011. "Fact Finding Trips to Italy: An experimental investigation of voter incentives," MPRA Paper 33193, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; legislature; term limits; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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