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The Value of Committee Seats in the House, 1947-91

Tim Groseclose and Charles Stewart III
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 453-474
DOI: 10.2307/2991766
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991766
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Value of Committee Seats in the House, 1947-91
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Abstract

We construct a rational choice model of House members' preferences for committee assignments and use it to construct a new method that provides quantitative measures of the value members place on different legislative committees. The procedure improves upon previous techniques proposed by Bullock and Sprague and by Munger, both theoretically and empirically. The resulting estimates have cardinal properties, which make them superior measures of committee value when used in statistical analysis of legislative behavior. We illustrate the usefulness of our technique by testing whether mid-1970s reforms of the House committee system upset the value that members ascribed to committee service.

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