Assessing the Allocation of Pork: Evidence From Congressional Earmarks


Journal Article

Distributive politics represents one of the most important and controversial aspects of legislative policymaking. In the U.S. Congress, controversies over distributive politics are most evident in the area of legislative earmarking. In this article, we employ a unique set of data matching earmarks to their legislative sponsors to assess the leading explanations of distributive politics. We find that members of the majority party do considerably better than equally situated members of the minority. Moreover, party leaders target earmarks to those holding pivotal agenda-setting positions and to electorally vulnerable members. These findings have direct implications for both the extensive political science literature on distributive politics and the practical politics of earmarking reform. © The Author(s) 2010.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Engstrom, EJ; Vanberg, G

Published Date

  • October 6, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 959 - 985

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-3373

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1532-673X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1532673X10369529

Citation Source

  • Scopus