Legislative Production and Ideology Voter Scores: Three Essays
Type of Degreedissertation
DepartmentForest Economics and Policy
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Legislators possess supply-side characteristics in the production process of public sector outcomes. Constituents demand legislative services and choose those who most closely resemble their preferences. There are several organizations that rate the performance of congressmen and senators with respect to their votes on identified sets of bills they (the rating organizations) concern themselves with. It is well-known that legislative production is influenced significantly by the ideology of legislators (Kau and Rubin 1979 ; Dougan and Munger 1989; Poole & Rosenthal 1996;Levitt 1996). However, while these scores have been labeled ideology scores it is not clear whether or not they are merely responses to constituent interest (Downs 1957:Kalt & Zupan 1984; Strattmann, 1998;Strattmann 2000). While this question is not novel, with findings on both sides of the discussion containing scholastic merit (Bender and Lott 1996), we seek to analyze the import of these scores on legislative production; do they influence contributions? cosponsorship behavior on certain bills? Do economic conditions influence the scores themselves? We find evidence of the affirmative in all three cases.