Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Electoral Incentives and Party Polarization in Congress

Tarpey, Matthew (2021) Electoral Incentives and Party Polarization in Congress. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

This is the latest version of this item.

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 12 January 2023.

Download (648kB) | Request a Copy

Abstract

This dissertation studies the relationship between elections and party polarization in the Congress. In three related essays, I identify electoral incentives for partisan voting on legislation. The first paper argues that elections create incentives for party-line voting on legislation associated with the president because of the electoral benefits that presidential legislative success affords members of the president's party. Using data on legislative and electoral outcomes, I show that the president successfully enacting their legislative agenda advantages members of the president's party electorally, but the legislative success of the party and individual members of the party are not consistently tied to election outcomes. The second paper argues that primary elections also incentivize adherence to the positions of co-partisan presidents. Using data on primary elections for the House of Representatives for the period 1970 to 2010, I show that greater legislative support of the president improves all indicators of members' performance in primary elections, independent of established determinants of primary election outcomes. The final paper develops a theory to explain why inter-party competition for control of government incentivizes party-line voting on salient legislation. A series of experiments demonstrate that greater cross-party support for legislation improves public perceptions of the quality of the legislation among all groups of voters, and especially among low-information voters with weak partisan ties. Importantly, cross-party support has a secondary, indirect effect of improving perceptions of the proposing party's ability to develop good policy, which creates electoral incentives for members to oppose policies developed by their political competitors.


Share

Citation/Export:
Social Networking:
Share |

Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tarpey, Matthewmmt52@umw.edummt52
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWoon, Jonathanwoon@pitt.edu
Committee MemberBonneau, Chriscwbonneau@gmail.com
Committee MemberKanthak, Kristinkanthak@pitt.edu
Committee MemberMinozzi, Williamminozzi.1@osu.edu
Date: 12 January 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 August 2019
Approval Date: 12 January 2021
Submission Date: 3 December 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 100
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: party polarization, elections, political parties
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 16:45
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 15:08
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/40131

Available Versions of this Item


Metrics

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item