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Pass the Pork: Measuring Legislator Shares in Congress

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2008

Benjamin E. Lauderdale*
Department of Politics, Princeton University, Corwin Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, e-mail:


Linear regression models are frequently used to analyze distributive politics in the U.S. Congress; however, authors have used a variety of specifications with different implicit assumptions about how bicameralism shapes legislative bargaining. I derive a model that describes district or state spending authorizations as the aggregation of spending secured by multiple legislators working on behalf of overlapping constituencies. This bicameral shares model allows the disaggregation of House and Senate influence through simultaneous estimation of the relative bargaining power of the two chambers and the advantages that accrue to legislators holding partisan, committee, and other relevant affiliations. In the 2005 transportation bill, the model better predicts the functional form of small state advantage than recently employed specifications in the literature.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Political Methodology 

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