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Different Preferences, Different Politics: A Demand-and-Structure Explanation

Koford, Kenneth (1987) Different Preferences, Different Politics: A Demand-and-Structure Explanation. Social Science Working Paper, 640. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Different types of legislative politics are explained in this paper by the distribution of legislators' demands. Demands are legislators' willingness to pay for victory on a bill, with votes on other issues, effort, or work. Different demand distributions require different institutions and "politics" for the legislators to obtain the results they want. The types of politics can be largely identified with Lowi's typology of interest-group interaction. Distributive politics combines many individual projects, each with a small intensely favorable minority and a large, slightly opposed majority. Since no one project could pass on its own, compound bills are created that benefit all legislators (Weingast 1979). Redistributive issues have two large intensely opposed groups. Their politics are conflict, mobilizations of one's partisans, and efforts to obtain the votes of the few indifferents (Schneider 1979). Regulative politics have two forms. Simple regulative issues have small intense groups for and against the bill, and a vast majority of indifferents. Each side appeals to the indifferents, creating a natural arena for vote-trading. Complex regulative issues allow the distribution of demand to change as the bill proposal is modified. They often involve novel legislation, whose consequences are not clear. Those dominating the agenda control the nature of the bill to maximize their gains and assure a majority for passage (Shepsle and Weingast 1984). Vote-trading also occurs, since most legislators are indifferent.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Additional Information:Revised. Original dated to April 1987. Randy Calvert, Keith Krehbiel, Jerry Schneider, John Wright and an unknown referee gave helpful comments. An earlier version was presented at the 1985 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Published as Koford, Kenneth. "Different preferences, different politics: A demand-and-structure explanation." Western Political Quarterly 42, no. 1 (1989): 9-31.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Subject Keywords:Legislators, Demand, Political regulation, Voting, Political parties, Economic regulation, Committees, Regulatory legislation, Political ideologies, Aggregate demand
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:640
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170911-135520458
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81303
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:12 Sep 2017 18:58
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:41

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