Decentralizing Pork: Congressional Roll-Call Voting, Decentralized Administration, and Distributive Politics
Forthcoming, Legislative Studies Quarterly
38 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017 Last revised: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: July 5, 2017
Congress packages pork-barrel spending in complicated proposals that belie theories of distributive politics. We theorize that roll-call voting on such bills depends on grant programs’ administrative centralization, party ties with presidents or home-state governors, and differences in geographic representation between chambers. Analyzing votes between 1973-2010 using a within-legislator strategy reveals that House members are less likely to support decentralized spending when they are co-partisans with presidents, while senators support decentralization regardless of such party ties. When House members or senators share affiliation with only governors or with neither chief executive, the likelihood of support rises with decentralization.
Keywords: Distributive Politics, Roll-Call Voting, Congress, Pork Barrel, Federalism, Delegation, Public Administration, Intergovernmental Relations, Grants, Grant-in-aid
JEL Classification: H5, H50, H7, H77, H83, H1, H11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation