Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Rycroft, Robert

Second Advisor

Ray, Margaret

Major or Concentration



As a result of polarizing election outcomes, controversial legislative actions, and the general stigma that elected officials are corrupt, many Americans are questioning whether their representatives in government have the best interest of their constituents at heart, or are considering more self-centered motives. One point of contention is that political action committees and lobbyists contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to legislators' campaigns in return for consideration of their viewpoints. This study seeks to determine exactly how much weight members of the House of Representatives give to monetary contributions when considering how to vote on a bill by using voting records and control variables associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After testing how party, ideology, monetary contributions, constituent income, percent of votes received in the election, and the size of the election margin impacted how each Representative voted on the ACA it was unclear whether any variables had significant impacts on the dependent variable. However, when only the data from the Democrats was considered, it was possible to conclude that both ideology and monetary contributions were major contributing factors for the vote.

Included in

Economics Commons