Endogenous Social Connections in Legislatures

81 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2019 Last revised: 6 Jul 2022

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2019


We present a model of the U.S. Congress in which social connections among Congress members are endogenous and matter for their legislative activity. We propose a novel equilibrium concept for the network formation game that allows for a sharp characterization of equilibrium behavior and that yields a unique prediction under testable conditions. While the equilibrium is characterized by a large number of nonlinear equations, we show that the model can be structurally estimated by an appropriately designed Approximate Bayesian Computation method. Estimating the model using data from the 109th to 113th U.S. Congresses, we show that social connections are important for legislators' productivities and we identify some of the key determinants of social centralities in Congress.

Suggested Citation

Battaglini, Marco and Patacchini, Eleonora and Rainone, Edoardo, Endogenous Social Connections in Legislatures (June 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25988, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3408922

Marco Battaglini (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Eleonora Patacchini

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Edoardo Rainone

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184

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