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The Analysis of Committee Power: An Application to Senate Voting on the Minimum Wage

Krehbiel, Keith and Rivers, Douglas (1987) The Analysis of Committee Power: An Application to Senate Voting on the Minimum Wage. Social Science Working Paper, 641. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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A widely noted empirical regularity of congressional behavior is that standing committees exert disproportionate influence on congressional choices. The observed phenomenon has a number of labels-committee influence, committee power, and (from the parent chamber's perspective) deference to committees-and a large body of theoretical and empirical research has sought to determine when and why it exists. This paper takes as given only the weakest form the observation, namely, that committee power exists sometimes. It does not directly address the questions of when and why committee power exists, although much of the relevant literature is reviewed. Rather, it focuses on a prerequisite to the resolution of disputes about committee power. How can committee power be assessed empirically? Section I reviews three classes of explanations and identifies obstacles to convincing empirical tests of the accounts. Section II introduces an econometric approach for analyzing committee power. Section III applies the technique to a sequence of votes on minimum wage legislation in the Senate in 1977. Section IV extends the technique to multi-dimensional choice spaces. Section V is a discussion and summary.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Additional Information:Published as Krehbiel, Keith, and Douglas Rivers. "The analysis of committee power: An application to Senate voting on the minimum wage." American Journal of Political Science 32, no. 4 (1988): 1151-1174.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Subject Keywords:Minimum wage, Voting, Legislators, Committees, Upper houses, Indexing, Wages, Congressional voting, Political power
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:641
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170911-133744911
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81298
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:12 Sep 2017 19:10
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:41

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