Match!

Money in Exile: Campaign Contributions and Committee Access

Published on Oct 1, 2016in The Journal of Politics
· DOI :10.1086/686615
Eleanor Neff Powell8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Justin Grimmer15
Estimated H-index: 15
Sources
Abstract
Understanding how money influences the legislative process is essential for assessing American democracy, but problems of endogeneity, legality, and observational equivalence make it difficult to isolate the effect of contributions on policy. We seek to answer long-standing questions about the influence of money in Congress by exploiting a congressional procedure (committee exile) that exogenously varies a member’s influence over the policy-making process. We leverage exile as an identification strategy to show that business interests seek short-term access to influential legislators. Industries overseen by the committee decrease contributions to exiled legislators and instead direct their contributions to new committee members from the opposite party. Partisan interests, in contrast, attempt to influence electoral outcomes—boosting contributions to exiled members. Together, we provide evidence that corporations and business PACs use donations to acquire immediate access and favor—suggesting they at least...
Figures & Tables
  • References (67)
  • Citations (17)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
578 Citations
31 Citations
445 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
References67
Newest
#1Stephane Wolton (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 1
Scholars have long recognized two classes of special interest group (SIG) expenditures: inside lobbying, which is intended to influence the content of a bill; and outside lobbying, which is intended to influence the likelihood a bill is enacted into law. This paper juxtaposes both lobbying activities within a single model. Policy choices are a function of the decision-maker's assessment of SIGs' willingness to engage in outside lobbying. Importantly, inside lobbying expenditures do not always re...
5 CitationsSource
#2B HallAndrewH-Index: 11
Studies of American politics consistently find little link between campaign contributions and electoral and policy outcomes, concluding that donors gain little from donating. Despite this, the donations of access-oriented interest groups continue to generate a large part of incumbents' financial advantage in U.S. legislative campaigns. We argue that we can learn directly about the motivations of interest groups, and indirectly about the possible value that they extract from incumbents, by examin...
5 CitationsSource
#1Lee DrutmanH-Index: 7
Chapter 1: The Pervasive Position of Business Chapter 2: Why the Growth of Corporate Lobbying Matters Chapter 3: The Growth of Corporate Lobbying Chapter 4: How and Why Corporations Lobby Chapter 5: How Corporations Cooperate and Compete Chapter 6: How Corporations Make Sense of Politics Chapter 7: How Lobbyists Perpetuate Lobbying Chapter 8: Testing Alternative Explanations for Growth Chapter 9: The Stickiness of Lobbying Chapter 10: The Business of America is Lobbying
49 Citations
#1KarolDavid (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 10
Congressional retirement decisions affect representation and campaigns. They have long interested scholars. Yet the timing of retirement announcements has not been explored. In an analysis dating to 1920 based on an original data set, I show that U.S senators now announce their retirements far earlier in their final term than they once did. Beyond documenting this little-noted trend, I propose and assess explanations for these findings, focusing on changes in campaign finance law. I discuss impl...
2 CitationsSource
#1Marianne Bertrand (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 42
#2Matilde BombardiniH-Index: 8
Last. Francesco TrebbiH-Index: 29
view all 3 authors...
What do lobbyists do? Some believe that lobbyists' main role is to provide issue-specific information and expertise to congressmen to help guide the law-making process. Others believe that lobbyists mainly provide the firms and other special interests they represent with access to politicians in their "circle of influence" and that this access is the be-all and end-all of how lobbyists affect the lawmaking process. This paper combines a descriptive analysis with more targeted testing to get insi...
97 CitationsSource
#1Martin Gilens (Princeton University)H-Index: 17
Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks...
589 CitationsSource
#1Alexander Fouirnaies (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 5
#2B HallAndrew (Harvard University)H-Index: 11
31 CitationsSource
#1Nicholas CarnesH-Index: 10
Eight of the last twelve presidents were millionaires when they took office. The figure is above fifty percent among current Supreme Court justices, all nine of whom graduated from either Harvard or Yale. Millionaires also control Congress, where a background in business or law is the norm and the average member of the House or Senate has spent less than two percent of his or her adult life in a working-class job. Why is it that most politicians in America are so much better off than the people ...
72 Citations
#1Justin Grimmer (Stanford University)H-Index: 15
#2Eleanor Neff Powell (Yale University)H-Index: 8
We show how preferred committee assignments act as an electoral subsidy for members of Congress—empowering representatives’ legislative careers. When holding preferred assignments, legislators are free to focus on legislative activity in Washington, DC. But when the subsidy is removed, legislators are forced to direct attention to the district. To test our theory of legislative subsidy, we exploit committee exile—the involuntary removal of committee members after a party loses a sizable number o...
19 CitationsSource
#1Ryan T. MooreH-Index: 7
Last. Andrew ReevesH-Index: 10
view all 3 authors...
In 2008 and 2009, the House of Representatives directed billions of dollars to the auto industry by passing a bailout and the "cash for clunkers" program. Moving beyond corporate influence via campaign contributions, we demonstrate that the presence of auto workers in a district strongly predicts legislative support for both bills. In addition to this critical legislation, we also analyze over 250 bills on which the auto industry either lobbied or took a public position. We find no patterns rela...
7 CitationsSource
Cited By17
Newest
#1Jeremiah Bohr (University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh)H-Index: 6
To determine to what extent politicians publicly discuss environmental issues in line with public opinion and economic characteristics of their constituents, we conducted a computational text analy...
Source
#2Dongwon Lee (SKKU: Sungkyunkwan University)H-Index: 4
Last. Sang Won Park (HUFS: Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)H-Index: 28
view all 3 authors...
Source
Source
#1ByungKoo Kim (UM: University of Michigan)
Last. Iain Osgood (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 6
view all 2 authors...
Source
#1Oliver Huwyler (University of Basel)H-Index: 1
#2Tomas Turner‐Zwinkels (University of Basel)
Source
#1Keith E. Schnakenberg (WashU: Washington University in St. Louis)H-Index: 6
#2Ian R. Turner (Yale University)H-Index: 3
Campaign finance contributions may influence policy by affecting elections or by influencing the choices of politicians once in office. We study the trade-offs between these two mechanisms using a game in which contributions may affect electoral outcomes and signal policy-relevant information to politicians. In the model, an interest group and two politicians each possess private information about a policy-relevant state of the world. The interest group may contribute to its preferred candidate ...
Source
#1Scott Wahl (MSU: Montana State University)H-Index: 3
#2John W. Sheppard (MSU: Montana State University)H-Index: 18
Last. Elizabeth A. Shanahan (MSU: Montana State University)H-Index: 15
view all 3 authors...
An important aspect of social networks is the discovery and partitioning of the complex graphs into dense sub-networks referred to as communities. The goal of such partitioning is to find groups who have similar attributes or behaviors. In the realm of politics, it is possible to group individuals with similar political behavior by analyzing campaign finance records. In this paper we use fuzzy hierarchical spectral clustering to find communities with campaign finance networks. Multiple experimen...
Source
#1Soren Jordan (AU: Auburn University)H-Index: 3
A recent study by Aldrich, Ballard, Lerner, and Rohde (2017) examines whether a specific type of money—donations from leadership political action committees—is systematically related to party goals...
Source
#1Ulrich Matter (HSG: University of St. Gallen)H-Index: 3
#2Alois StutzerH-Index: 42
We investigate the role that public attention plays in determining the effect that campaign contributions funded by interests groups have on legislators’ policy positions. In so doing, we exploit the Internet service blackout of January 2012 as a quasi-experiment in which a shock increases the salience of the SOPA/PIPA bills aimed at securing stronger protection of property rights on the Internet. Using a newly compiled dataset of U.S. congressmen’s public statements, which capture their positio...
Source
U.S election candidates seek monetary support for their campaigns and many individuals oblige. A recurring question is whether donors receive anything for their support. Between 1998 and 2003, nonprofit officers, directors, trustees, and foundation managers gave over 20 million in campaign contributions; within the same time period, their affiliated nonprofits received over 265 billion in government grants. This paper investigates whether there are signs of reciprocity between nonprofits and Mem...
Source