Decentralizing Pork: Congressional Roll-Call Voting, Decentralized Administration, and Distributive Politics

38 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Pamela Clouser McCann

University of Southern California

Date Written: July 5, 2017

Abstract

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

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Clouser McCann, Pamela, Decentralizing Pork: Congressional Roll-Call Voting, Decentralized Administration, and Distributive Politics (July 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2997735 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2997735

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Pamela Clouser McCann

University of Southern California ( email )

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