Vote Buying in the US Congress

80 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2019

See all articles by Ulrich Matter

Ulrich Matter

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research

Paolo Roberti

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Michaela Slotwinski

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

We assess the influence of moneyed interests on legislative decisions. Our theory predicts that the vote outcome distribution and donation flows in a legislature feature a discontinuity at the approval threshold of bills if special interest groups are involved in vote buying. Testing the theoretical predictions based on two decades of roll-call voting in the U.S. House, we identify the link between narrowly passed bills and well-timed campaign contributions. Several pieces of evidence substantiate our main finding, suggesting that moneyed interests exert remarkably effective control over the passage of contested bills.

Keywords: legislative voting, campaign finance, special interest groups, lobbying, forensic economics

JEL Classification: D720, D780

Suggested Citation

Matter, Ulrich and Roberti, Paolo and Slotwinski, Michaela, Vote Buying in the US Congress (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7841. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3467975

Ulrich Matter (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

Paolo Roberti

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy

Michaela Slotwinski

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel ( email )

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
133
PlumX Metrics