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Delivering the Goods: Legislative Particularism in Different Electoral and Institutional Settings


Scott Ashworth is assistant professor of politics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita is assistant professor of political science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130.


We analyze a model of legislative particularism to understand how the provision of constituency service responds to variations in institutional and electoral environments. We show that increased partisan balance in the electorate, single-member districts, and independent executives all increase incentives for legislators to provide constituency service. The results of the model are consistent with existing comparative-institutional empirical observations. Moreover, the model addresses over time trends in the United States that are not explained by existing models and yields novel hypotheses that are amenable to empirical evaluation.