The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities

By Payne, A. Abigail | Economic Inquiry, April 2003 | Go to article overview

The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities


Payne, A. Abigail, Economic Inquiry


I. INTRODUCTION

In 1994 members of the Republican Party pledged to seek legislation to impose term limits on members of Congress. This pledge stemmed from the popular belief that senior members of Congress tend to promote personal interests or are more influenced by lobbying efforts that may not be representative of their constituents. Today, term limits continue to be discussed but have not been enacted; instead, many members have focused their energies toward minimizing the time spent on any particular committee of Congress, believing that tenure on a committee is a more serious concern than simple tenure in Congress. Implicit in these concerns is the issue whether as incumbent politicians plan to retire they will behave differently and, if so, whether tenure on a congressional committee exacerbates this behavior.

This article explores the role of membership on the appropriations committee on the distribution of federal research funding to universities. Specifically, it explores whether funding is diverted to these universities because politicians use their position on a committee to promote personal or constituent interests. Previous research on shirking compares the voting records of politicians on certain issues with demographic and economic characteristics of the politicians' constituents. This article explores the issue of shirking differently. I explore how membership on congressional appropriations committees affects the distribution of federal research funding to universities. I look at two types of relationships between the members and the universities. First, I consider the relationship between members and the universities that are located in the members' districts (states in the case of senators). Second, I examine the relationship between members and their undergraduate alma mater. I use district representa tion to proxy favoritism that reflects a politician's constituents. Given that in most instances an alma mater affiliation is not the same as district representation, I use alma mater affiliation to proxy favoritism that reflects the politician's personal interests.

Federal research funding accounts for more than 60% of research funding received by research universities. Previous research has shown a positive impact of federal funding on research outcomes; see Adams and Griliches (1998), Arora and Gambardella (1997), Connolly (1997), Payne and Siow (2002), and Payne (2001). Except for Payne and Siow (2002), however, these articles do not consider that political diversion of funds may promote or detract from research productivity as with any other federal program.

This article concentrates on the impact of membership on the House and Senate appropriations committees because they wield the greatest power in the allocation of funding. (1) Using a panel data set spanning 26 years, I explore how changes in the composition of the appropriations committees affects the distribution of research funding after controlling for the heterogeneity that exists across different universities.

The results suggest that both district representation and alma mater affiliation matter. Thus there is evidence of shirking for personal interests and evidence of members representing their constituents. With respect to the representation of one's constituents, the strongest results suggest that public universities benefit from representation on both the Senate and House committees. Private universities, however, only benefit from representation in the Senate. With respect to alma mater affiliations, the results suggest again that public universities benefit from representation on both the Senate and House committees. Private universities also benefit from representation on both the Senate and House committees. The results also suggest that the tenure of the member on the committee matters, as does whether the member is a part of the majority party in power in the congressional chamber.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.