"An OLS regression analysis controlling for the district representative’s political party, tenure in office, leadership position, membership on the appropriations committee, as well as for the district’s unemployment, mean income (i.e., the average income of a given wage earner in the district), and the percentage of employed persons working in the construction sector in 2008 finds that having a Republican representative decreases a district’s stimulus award by 24 percent. This effect is statistically significant at the p < .001 level."
It's an interesting and useful paper. They've put a lot of effort into compiling some data on the federal stimulus outlays and some other political variables as well as even correcting & error-checking the data they got from other sources. I like that they have provided the actual Stata dataset that they compiled (and they've even copied/pasted the Stata output tables in the document), but I thought that it would be interesting to run the models again with some interaction terms and clustering as well as adding in a couple of other political variables commonly used in some of the literature on Congressional pork/spending. Looking past the chatter about the alleged political leanings of the Mercatus Center , it seemed to me that a regression model concluding that the stimulus funds where doled out by partisan lines should probably be examined a bit more closely.
First of all, I wanted to re-run their model with an interaction term for being a republican in a leadership position in a marginal seat and on the appropriations committee (republican*marginally*leadership*accountability). My guess is that the effect of being republican might be different for those in leadership, marginal, and/or appropriations committee positions and if Democrats do have an advantage, which democrats got the biggest share (leadership, safe seats, appropriations committee members ?)-- that is, there's a bit more to the political calculus of stimulus spending than simple party lines.
Second, I wanted to add a couple of other political variables, such as:
- the number and size ( in dollars) of earmarks secured by each member (No. of Earmarks & log_ttlearmarks)
- the number of solo-authored legislation by each member (solo)
- the number of votes and % of Democratic vote in each member's district in the prior election (log_ttlvotes & democrat_pctvote)
- whether the governor, upper, and lower house of the member's state delegation are Republican controlled or not (governor_republican2, lower/upper_legisl_republican2)