What They Do Does Matter: Incumbent Resource Allocations and the Individual House Vote

What They Do Does Matter: Incumbent Resource Allocations and the Individual House Vote It is reasonable to presume that House incumbents through their behaviors and resource allocations (e.g., trips home, staff, etc.) are responsible for their electoral success. The empirical case for the resource allocation hypothesis, however, rests primarily upon the support of a few experimental design studies. The remainder of the evidence from 25 years of tests of this hypothesis, at the district and individual-levels, is littered with null findings. Scholars suggest two methodological obstructions hinder alternative hypothesis findings: simultaneity bias (in district and individual-level studies), and restricted variance on the allocation measures (in individual-level studies). In this investigation I apply methodological remedies for these hindrances-nonrecursive analyses on a pooled (1960–1976) NES elections data set. I uncover the strongest evidence yet that incumbents benefit electorally from their resource allocations (here: bills sponsored and cosponsored, staff, and district offices). In addition to this main result, I also discuss the influence generational replacement has on resource allocations and the vote. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

What They Do Does Matter: Incumbent Resource Allocations and the Individual House Vote

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-006-9010-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It is reasonable to presume that House incumbents through their behaviors and resource allocations (e.g., trips home, staff, etc.) are responsible for their electoral success. The empirical case for the resource allocation hypothesis, however, rests primarily upon the support of a few experimental design studies. The remainder of the evidence from 25 years of tests of this hypothesis, at the district and individual-levels, is littered with null findings. Scholars suggest two methodological obstructions hinder alternative hypothesis findings: simultaneity bias (in district and individual-level studies), and restricted variance on the allocation measures (in individual-level studies). In this investigation I apply methodological remedies for these hindrances-nonrecursive analyses on a pooled (1960–1976) NES elections data set. I uncover the strongest evidence yet that incumbents benefit electorally from their resource allocations (here: bills sponsored and cosponsored, staff, and district offices). In addition to this main result, I also discuss the influence generational replacement has on resource allocations and the vote.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 28, 2006

References

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