Endogenous Social Connections in Legislatures

83 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 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.

JEL Classification: D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Battaglini, Marco and Patacchini, Eleonora and Rainone, Edoardo, Endogenous Social Connections in Legislatures (July 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13845, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428367

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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