Govt. Lec. 11 - GOVERNMENT LECTURE 11 02/20 DISTRIBUTIVE...

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GOVERNMENT LECTURE 11 02/20 DISTRIBUTIVE THEORY -But, why would committee system be the best avenue? -If the most pressing problems facing Congress is distribution of benefits, then committees should be made up of those who are “high demanders” of policy. -High demanders are outliers- they aren’t representative of average members of Congress -This is also economical b/c “high demanders” have most incentive to become experts in their issues -Congressional leadership trades control of policy for the assured delivery of benefits SIDE NOTE: Central notion: -Congress passes distributive benefits. To do this they need expertise & the highest -3 rd problem facing Congress- the need for information INFORMATION THEORY OF CONGRESSIONAL ORGANIZATION BUT, CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES ONLY WRITE LEGISLATION & APPROPRIATE FUNDS. THE FLOOR OF EACH CHAMBER OF CONGRESS MUST PASS LEGISLATION CENTRAL PROBLEM FACED BY CONGRESS ISN’T DISTRIBUTING BENEFITS BUT GETTING INFORMATION -The problem is getting accurate information CAN THE INFORMATION GIVEN BY HIGH DEMANDERS BE TRUSTED? -They have reason to bias the information they give the floor. They don’t give accurate information. One way to get rid of bias get rid of high demanders. FLOOR MIGHT DEAL W/ THIS BY GETTING RID OF HIGH DEMANDERS, OR AT LEAST MARGINALIZING THEM BY STAFFING COMMITTEES W/ AVERAGE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS RATHER THAN OUTLIERS -The median is what matters, not the average b/c sensitive to tails of distribution THUS, COMMITTEES WILL BE HETEROGENEOUS & REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BROAD SPECTRUM OF CONGRESS, RATHER THAN HOMOGENOUS REPRESENTATIVES OF NARROW INTERESTS -Information theory predicts committee will be heterogeneous ??? -Problem: How to influence policy & still get expertise out of members? INFORMATION THEORY FOCUSES ON THE INCENTIVES THE MAJORITY USES TO GET MEMBERS TO SPECIALIZE & GAIN EXPERTISE IN GIVEN AREAS OF POLICY
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MAJORITY RETAINS CONTROL OF POLICY & TRADES DISTRIBUTION OF BENEFITS FOR INFORMATION EMBODIED IN SPECIALIZATION
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Govt. Lec. 11 - GOVERNMENT LECTURE 11 02/20 DISTRIBUTIVE...

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