Journal of Political Research- JPR

Journal of Political Research, Volume II 2011

Pork Barrel Politics: Motives and Benefits
Ken Smith, Creighton University

My Research analyzes the variance in the amount of pork barrel spending secured by members of the U.S. House of Representatives in FY2008.  I examine several characteristics of house members, from institutional authority and seniority to ideology, in order to gauge the effect these attributes have on the amount of federal spending allocated to their district.  From these observations I derived a secondary research focus: measuring the varying effectiveness of pork barrel spending by comparing the spending habits of a member of Congress to the percent of the vote they earn.  Significant findings include that members of the house appropriations committee and those holding positions of party leadership procure larger amounts of pork barrel spending than other representatives.  In addition, the model indicates that pork spending does not have a significant impact on vote percentage as previous studies have suggested.