Public Choice

, Volume 76, Issue 1–2, pp 151–172 | Cite as

Ideology, voting, and shirking

  • James B. Kau
  • Paul H. Rubin


Since we first raised the issue in 1979, scholars have addressed two questions regarding ideology and congressional voting. Does ideology have an impact on such voting? Do representatives shirk by voting their own ideology rather than their constituents' interests? For the first question, it appears that there is a consensus that ideology does matter, although we present some confirming evidence for 1980. The second question has been confused; some think that ideology and shirking are identical, although they are logically separate categories. We show that even if ideological shirking exists, it is relatively unimportant. We also show that self interested (non-ideological) shirking exists. We conclude that research efforts to untangle constituents' and representatives' separate ideologies have been misguided and that further efforts to examine the determinants of constituent ideology should be pursued.


Research Effort Public Finance Separate Category Congressional Vote Constituent Ideology 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James B. Kau
    • 1
  • Paul H. Rubin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Real EstateUniversity of GeorgiaAthens
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsEmory UniversityAtlanta

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