Title

Loyal political cartels and committee assignments in congress: Evidence from the Congressional Black Caucus

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2001

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

This study presents a political model which suggests that monopoly legislators form cartel-like organizations (referred to as "memberships'') in an effort to extract greater benefits in the political process. Based on a model by Coker and Crain (1994) that provides theoretical and statistical arguments for congressional committees as loyalty-generating institutions, the instant research examines committee placement of "members'' of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in the U.S. House by Democrat leaders. Voting records indicate that the CBC is uniform in its voting patterns, indicating cartel-like behavior. Because of this, the Democratic leadership in the House chooses to place CBC members on important committees in order to support their policy agenda. The general finding of this study is that "black representation'' may be greater than simply the proportion of seats held by black Representatives.

Publication Title

PUBLIC CHOICE

Volume

108

Issue

3-4

First Page

313

Last Page

330