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Pavel Yakovlev
''Ideology, Shirking, and the Incumbency Advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives''
( 2007, Vol. 4 No.33 )
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: D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making: General
D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty: General
Manuscript Received : Aug 10 2007 Manuscript Accepted : Sep 08 2007

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