The impact of legislator attributes on interest-group campaign contributions

Abstract

Legislators possess political assets that economic interest groups may find valuable in pursuing their goals. This paper examines the effect these legislative assets have on the campaign contributions made by two large and easily identifiable interest groups: corporations and labor unions. Committee assignment, voting record, and electoral security are significant predictors of both corporate and union contributions to House incumbents, while party affiliation and years in office also influence the behavior of union political action committees.

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Correspondence to Kevin B. Grier.

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We thank James Bennett, Mark Crain, Art Denzau, Bob Tollison, and Barry Weingast for comments and suggestions of fundamental importance in the development of this paper. Of course, they bear no responsibility for any shortcomings of the final result. The research in this paper was supported by the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Washington University Committee on Political Economy.

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Grier, K.B., Munger, M.C. The impact of legislator attributes on interest-group campaign contributions. J Labor Res 7, 349–361 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03179665

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Keywords

  • Interest Group
  • Public Choice
  • Election Cycle
  • Campaign Contribution
  • Party Affiliation