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Sophisticated Committees and Structure-Induced Equilibria in Congress

Krehbiel, Keith (1984) Sophisticated Committees and Structure-Induced Equilibria in Congress. Social Science Working Paper, 540540. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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This article addresses the somewhat narrower topic of whether a theory of legislatures a la Shepsle, can usefully and intelligibly accommodate the diversity in real-world legislatures, and whether in doing so it can retain its ability to predict political outcomes. I argue that Shepsle's theory is indeed useful for understanding Congress, in spite of its various limitations and simplifications, some of which are defended and others of which are corrected, Ultimately, I show how a proposed theoretical extension, while abstract, nevertheless says something concrete about how the institutionalization in Congress can stabilize congressional outcomes. The essay begins with a nontechnical review of Shepsle's theory and its main result, and proceeds to extend the theory to situations in which committees are more attentive and responsive to the preferences of noncommittee members. New theoretical results are presented for "simple institutional arrangements" (SIAs} with sophisticated committees, and Fenno's House committees and Polsby's comments on institutionalization are reconsidered in light of the revised theory.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:This paper is being prepared for a volume of research on Congress, edited by Mathew D. McCubbins and Terry Sullivan. It is to be included in a section on institutionalization, which also will include reprints of Shepsle (1979), Polsby (1968), and excerpts from Fenno (1973). Published in Theories on Congress: The New Institutionalism.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:540540
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170919-132731264
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81571
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:19 Sep 2017 20:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:44

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