Interest Groups, Partisan Politics, and Environmental Polarization
58 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2022
Date Written: June 16, 2022
This paper studies the mechanisms behind party polarization in the US Congress. The model generates a link between the initial composition of the parties, the behavior of new interest groups and the pattern and level of polarization along the new policy dimension (e.g., environment). Our empirical analysis merges data on congressional environmental votes from 1971 to 2016 with data on legislator characteristics, congressional district economic and demographic information, and interest group contributions. The empirical evidence confirms that party polarization emerged over time from initial bipartisanship and suggests that the connection between parties and special interest groups played a crucial role.
Keywords: Party polarization, special interest groups, environmental legislation
JEL Classification: D72, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation