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The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities

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  • A Abigail Payne

    (University of Illinois)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of congressional representation of a university through district representation or an alma mater affiliation on the distribution of research funding to research and doctoral universities in the United States. Because appropriations are allocated to agencies on an annual basis, Congress and agencies may be considered strategic actors that seek to minimize as well as exploit their differences in informational asymmetries. Using a data set that covers more than twenty-five years of data, I find there are strong effects from congressional representation on the distribution of research funding. These effects vary based on the type of representation, the seniority of the member serving on the committee, as well as the type of ownership of the university (private or public). Depending on the empirical specification, political diversions of research funding range between four and forty-eight percent. Surprisingly, the diversions associated with an alma mater affiliation are more robust than the diversions associated with district representation, suggesting the existence of political slack. These results suggest that informational asymmetries play a role in the level of congressional influence on agency actions. In addition, the results suggest that actions taken by members of the appropriations committees vary based on their tenure on the committees.

Suggested Citation

  • A Abigail Payne, 2001. "The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities," Public Economics 0111003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0111003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. A. Abigail Payne & Aloysius Siow, 1998. "Estimating the Effects of Federal Research Funding on Universities using Alumni Representation on Congressional Appropriations Committees," Working Papers siow-99-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2010. "The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 7-59, January.
    2. Stratmann, Thomas, 2013. "The effects of earmarks on the likelihood of reelection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 341-355.
    3. 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.
    4. Margaret Blume-Kohout & Krishna Kumar & Christopher Lau & Neeraj Sood, 2015. "The effect of federal research funding on formation of university-firm biopharmaceutical alliances," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 859-876, October.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline M. Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2009. "The Governance and Performance of Research Universities: Evidence from Europe and the U.S," NBER Working Papers 14851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    congressional representation; research funding; universities;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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