The Role of Earmarking in Modern Day Congress

Owen, Charles (2014) The Role of Earmarking in Modern Day Congress. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Jonathan Winburn from Political Science , University of Mississippi.

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This thesis is meant to analyze the correlation between earmarks and bi partisan voting behavior in the United Sates Congress. I collected earmarks data for the 111th Congress in order to understand how much was spent on both solo and joint earmarks. I then used this data to create a list of the top 87 bi partisan earmark partners for the 111th Congress. After creating the list of partners, I analyzed their voting behavior to see how often these bipartisan partners voted together in the 111th Congress because earmarks were present during this session. I then used the same partnerships and calculated the percentage of times they voted together in the 112th Congress following the moratorium (ban) on earmarks. I then averaged all the percentages and realized there was a 3.5% drop in bipartisan voting behavior between the two sessions. I then determined which of the 87 bipartisan earmark partners’ districts shared borders. After determining that 16 of the partners’ districts did not share a boundary and 71 did, I performed another analysis comparing the voting percentages of those with shared borders and those without. The bipartisan partners who shared boundaries only experienced a 2.6 decrease whereas those partners who did share a border experienced a 7.3 percent decrease. While these numbers did indicate that this relationship deserved more analysis, this is not enough information or proof for any definitive conclusion. I feel that the data suggests that earmarks and bipartisan voting behavior may have a relationship, but more research would be necessary to come to any definite conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Owen, Charles
Student's Degree Program(s): B.B.A. in Managerial Finance
Thesis Advisor: Jonathan Winburn
Thesis Advisor's Department: Political Science
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Depositing User: Charles Owen
Date Deposited: 12 May 2014 16:38
Last Modified: 12 May 2014 16:38

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