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Ideology, Shirking, and the Incumbency Advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives

Pavel Yakovlev ()

Economics Bulletin, 2007, vol. 4, issue 33, 1-6

Abstract: This paper examines how the incumbency advantage is related to ideological voting or legislative shirking that causes the incumbents to diverge from the preference of the median voter using aggregate data for the U.S. House of Representatives between 1948 and 2000. I find that a rise in the incumbency advantage manifested in higher reelection rates increases the ideological divergence or polarization the U.S. House of Representatives. I also find that the average number of bills per congressman falls with greater ideological polarization. These findings suggest that ideological and non-ideological shirking rise with the incumbent reelection rate.

JEL-codes: D7 D8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-09-08
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