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22 J.L. & Econ. 365 (1979)
Self-Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting

handle is hein.journals/jlecono22 and id is 369 raw text is: SELF-INTEREST, IDEOLOGY, AND
The University of Georgia
LAWS may be passed because of self-interest or because of ideology. All
national laws are ultimately passed by Congress; therefore, an analysis of the
factors which determine the way in which congressmen vote can be used to
determine the extent to which each of these factors is involved in passage of
legislation. Because of the development of statistical tools such as logit anal-
ysis, which enable the analyst to handle situations in which the dependent
variable is dichotomous, determinants of voting have recently been exam-
ined using roll-call voting data. The basic technique in this work has been to
define the vote by a congressman on a bill as the dichotomous dependent
variable and to use economic factors associated with the district as indepen-
dent variables. But if this research is to proceed, it is necessary to separate
out the factors-self-interest, logrolling, and ideology-which actually de-
termine voting. This separation is the purpose of this paper.
Kau and Rubin' and Silberman and Durden2 have analyzed voting on
minimum wages; Danielsen and Rubin3 have examined voting on energy
issues; Davis and Jackson4 have examined voting on income redistribution;
and Kau and Rubin5 have examined the effect of public-interest lobbies such
as Common Cause on the legislative process. Thus, statistical analysis of
roll-call voting has been, and is likely to continue to be, a useful tool. This
work in economics has differed somewhat from related work by political
* The authors wish to thank Yoram Barzel, Thomas Borcherding, Carter Hill, Milton
Friedman, Douglas North, George Stigler, Gordon Tullock, and Dean Worcester for helpful
comments on earlier versions of this paper, though they may not all agree with the results.
I James B. Kau & Paul H. Rubin, Voting on Minimum Wages: A Time Series Analysis, 86 J.
Pol. Econ. 337 (1978).
2 Jonathan I. Silberman & Garey C. Durden, Determining Legislative Preferences on the
Minimum Wage: An Economic Approach, 84 J. Pol. Econ. 317 (1976).
3 Albert L. Danielson & Paul H. Rubin, An Empirical Investigation of Voting on Energy
Issues, Public Choice, Winter 1977, at 121.
4 Otto A. Davis & John E. Jackson, Representative Voting Assemblies and Demands for
Redistribution: The Case of Senate Voting on the Family Assistance Plan, in Redistribution
through Public Choice 261 (Harold M. Hochman & George E. Peterson eds. 1974).
5 James B. Kau & Paul H. Rubin, Public Interest Lobbies: Membership and Influence,
Public Choice (forthcoming).

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