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Explaining Legislators' Positions on outside Income Limits: Voting on Honoraria Ceilings in the U.S. Senate, 1981-1983

Beth A. Rosenson
Public Choice
Vol. 133, No. 1/2 (Oct., 2007), pp. 111-128
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27698174
Page Count: 18
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Explaining Legislators' Positions on outside Income Limits: Voting on Honoraria Ceilings in the U.S. Senate, 1981-1983
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Abstract

This article examines roll-call voting by members of the U.S. Senate on three proposals to limit members' outside income in the 1980s. I find that several factors influenced legislators' votes on outside income limits legislation (OILL). First, financial self-interest was an important constraint on members' willingness to support OILL. Members who earned more honoraria were less likely to vote yes, but this opposition was neutralized when limits were attached to the compensating mechanism of a pay raise. Senators from poorer states were generally more likely to support honoraria limits alone but less likely to support limits linked to a pay raise, suggesting a responsiveness to constituent interests in both cases. Finally, when OILL was linked to a pay raise, electoral considerations became prominent in legislators' vote decisions, with electorally vulnerable members less likely to vote yes.

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