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.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 28, 2006
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