Articles

Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 74-86

First online:

Searching for cincinnatus: Representatives' backgrounds and voting behavior

  • Rex PjeskyAffiliated withUniversity of Oklahoma
  • , Daniel SutterAffiliated withUniversity of Oklahoma

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Abstract

Proponents of legislative term limits express concern about professional politicians, individuals who have no other occupation than running for and holding office. Term limits presumably will help allow the reemergence of the citizen-legislator. This paper examines whether pre-political background affects Congressional voting, specifically concentrating on whether a business background affects U.S. Chamber of Commerce vote scores. Business background significantly affects voting in the House, even with party affiliation and corporate and labor campaign contributions included as control variables, but background variables are insignificant for Senate voting.