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The Value of Committee Seats in the United States Senate, 1947-91

Charles Stewart, III and Tim Groseclose
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jul., 1999), pp. 963-973
DOI: 10.2307/2991842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991842
Page Count: 11
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The Value of Committee Seats in the United States Senate, 1947-91
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Abstract

Applying a method we introduced in an earlier paper and applied to the House (Groseclose and Stewart, 1998a), we estimate the value of U.S. Senate committees from the 81st to 102nd Congress. This method is superior to prior committee-ranking methods and is particularly appropriate for ranking Senate committees. The rankings we produce conform to the distinction between important and less important committees that have been maintained in the Senate rules and reinforced through the operation of the "Johnson Rule." High-ranking committees tend to be those that senators associate with prestige and policy pursuits; low-ranking committees have reputations for a constituency orientation. After producing a rank-ordering of Senate committees for the post-war era, we examine whether the committee rankings have changed over time and whether Republicans and Democrats reveal different preference-orderings for committees.

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