*Department of Economics, George Mason University, and Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina. The authors express their thanks to Thomas Borcherding, John Carter, Tyler Cowen, Arthur Denzau, Rodney Fort, William Keech, Brian Roberts, Thomas Romer, Gary Torrent, Thomas Willett, and several anonymous referees for helpful comments. Any errors or shortcomings that remain are our responsibility.
COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS, CONSTITUENT PREFERENCES, AND CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 24–43, January 1991
How to Cite
Grier, K. B. and Munger, M. C. (1991), COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS, CONSTITUENT PREFERENCES, AND CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. Economic Inquiry, 29: 24–43. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1991.tb01250.x
- Issue published online: 28 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
We model the behavior of a vote-maximizing legislator in order to predict interest group campaign contributions to incumbent politicians. We show that committee assignments and voter preferences affect the price a legislator requires to produce policies for any interest group. An econometric analysis of actual interest group contributions shows that these groups make significantly larger contributions to legislators on committees with jurisdiction over especially relevant policy issues and to incumbents with non-hostile constituencies. These results support our theory; interest groups act as if committees matter in the determination of policy and voters' interests constrain interest group behavior.