Are Congressional Black Caucus Members More Reliable? Loyalty Screening and Committee Assignments of Newly Elected Legislators

19 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2007

See all articles by Franklin G. Mixon

Franklin G. Mixon

University of Southern Mississippi

Amanda C. Pagels

University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

As previous research has suggested, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) demonstrates the characteristics of a well-functioning vote-producing cartel in both the degree and uniformity to which it supports the leadership of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives. As previous work has pointed out, this cartel is, therefore, rewarded by House Democrats through selection for service on "important committees" at the beginning of each Congress. However, Democratic leaders have very little, if any, information to guide them in their choices regarding committee placement for newly elected Democratic representatives. As such, they are likely to use past CBC uniformity and loyalty as a low-cost screening device for predicting future reliability. Examination of the committee placement of newly elected Democrats to the U.S. House from the 103rd Congress through the 106th Congress reveals such a pattern by House Democratic leaders. In other words, newly elected CBC Democrats face much higher probabilities of receiving important committee assignments than their newly elected non-CBC counterparts, ceteris paribus.

Suggested Citation

Mixon, Franklin G. and Pagels, Amanda C., Are Congressional Black Caucus Members More Reliable? Loyalty Screening and Committee Assignments of Newly Elected Legislators. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 413-431, April 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1061801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1536-7150.2007.00517.x

Franklin G. Mixon (Contact Author)

University of Southern Mississippi ( email )

Department of Economics Finance & International Law JGH 312E
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-5083 (Phone)

Amanda C. Pagels

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS 39406
United States

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