Exchange Theory, Political Parties, and the Allocation of Federal Distributive Benefits in the House of Representatives
Journal of Politics, Forthcoming
33 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 22, 2011
Much work has acknowledged partisan differences in distributive benefits. Few works, however, have empirically examined the role party building activities play in these distributions. Through Exchange Theory, we hypothesize that legislators are rewarded with distributive benefits for promoting the legislative and electoral goals of the party. Using data on party unity, member-to-member contributions, and distributive benefits, we observe these exchange relationships occurring between members and their parties in the House of Representatives, as well as directly between representatives and members of the Appropriations Committee. The analyses point to the importance of political parties in distributive politics.
Keywords: Distributive Benefits, Member-to-Member Contributions, Pork, Leadership PACs
JEL Classification: H50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation