Bicameralism and geographic politics: Allocating funds in the House and Senate

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33 Scopus citations


Because they represent different kinds of constituencies - states versus parts of states - senators and House members have different incentives in constructing federal distributive programs. In order to claim credit for providing particularized benefits, House members need to use policy tools - earmarks and narrow categorical programs - that target funds to their constituencies. Senators, by contrast, are able to claim credit for the large formula grants that distribute the bulk of intergovernmental grant money. Examining House-Senate interactions in one of the largest distributive programs, federal aid to states for surface transportation, I show that the different bases of representation in the House and Senate structure the chambers' preferences on distributive programs and affect the outcomes of interchamber conflicts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-213
Number of pages29
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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