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Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays

Alvarez, R. Michael and Saving, Jason (1995) Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays. Social Science Working Paper, 898. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The literature on the organization of the United States 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 we provide evidence which indicates that the pork-barrel is alive and well in the contemporary United States Congress. We 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.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemPublished Version
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:We thank Kenneth Bickers and Robert Stein for access to their "U.S. Domestic Assistance Programs Database,” and for their assistance with the data. We also thank Joseph Cooper, John Ferejohn, and Gretchen Kalsow for their comments, and Abby Delman for her assistance. Published as Alvarez, R. Michael, and Jason L. Saving. "Congressional committees and the political economy of federal outlays." Public Choice 92, no. 1 (1997): 55-73.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:898
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170822-133838152
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80680
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:23 Aug 2017 18:25
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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