Posted: 15 Aug 2002
The divestiture of the House Appropriations Committee in the 1880's has received considerable attention of an empirical nature. This paper presents a formal model of legislative decisionmaking, using a common agency formulation to represent interest group lobbying of legislators. This framework is used to analyze the effects of decentralizing appropriations authority. The conditions under which decentralization leads to higher spending are characterized. It is argued that the conventional view that divestiture caused higher levels of spending only holds if decentralization created barriers to lobbying and political bargaining across different committees. In addition, the role of specialized committee knowledge is examined.
Keywords: Budgeting, Congressional committees, Common agency, Lobbying, Appropriations
JEL Classification: D72, H61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Dharmapala, Dhammika, Budgetary Policy with Unified and Decentralized Appropriations Authority. Public Choice, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=317420