Can Special Interests Buy Congressional Votes? Evidence from Financial Services Legislation

38 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2002

See all articles by Thomas Stratmann

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

The challenge in the campaign contribution literature has been to overcome the simultaneous equation bias that is inherent in the vote-contribution relationship. This paper proposes a new method to overcome this bias. It examines behavior at different points of time and relates it to contributions at different points of time. This method is applied to legislators' voting decisions on financial services regulation. Analyzing this type of legislation is of particular interest because it allows an analysis of the net influence of competing interest group. Consistent with the proposed model's predictions I find evidence that changes in contribution levels determine changes in roll call voting behavior, that contributions from competing groups are partially offsetting, and that junior legislators are more responsive to changes in contribution levels than senior legislators.

Keywords: Campaign finance, campaign contributions, legislatures

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Stratmann, Thomas, Can Special Interests Buy Congressional Votes? Evidence from Financial Services Legislation. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=303474 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.303474

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

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703-993-2330 (Phone)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/thomas-stratmann

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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