Legislative committees as information intermediaries: a unified theory of committee selection and amendment rules


This paper contributes to understanding the role of interest groups in legislative decision-making, and offers an explanation to two widely discussed puzzles concerning the legislative process: why legislative bodies sometimes tie their own hands by delegating power to specialized committees, and why committees consist of preference outliers. In our model, the legislature has to collect information from a strategic lobbyist. Depending on the lobbyist’s bias, the legislature either wants to delegate power to a committee aligned with the lobbyist, or retain power but communicate with the lobbyist through an adversely biased committee.

Last updated on 12/04/2012