Harvard Seminar on Positive Political Economy


Thursday, February 2, 2017, 4:30pm to 6:00pm

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and The Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University are sponsoring a seminar on formal and quantitative political research. The Program on Positive Political Economy (PPE) supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies. All interested faculty and students are invited to attend.

Professor Betsy Sinclair, Washington University at St. Louis, presents, 

"Estimating the Electoral Connection."

Abstract: Does legislative effectiveness and entrepreneurship matter to constituents?  In this paper, we evaluate the extent to which legislators are electorally rewarded for their behavior in Congress.  We introduce a novel identification strategy via congressional office assignment to provide causal identification of the electoral connection.  After estimating models using the office variable instrument, and contrary to the existing literature, we find little evidence that legislators are rewarded for upticks in effectiveness or entrepreneurship.  


***We Reserve the right to change the room.