INET Oxford Researcher, Omar Guerrero, and Ulrich Matter explore the idea of vote trading in a new paper.

Please see the abstract below and click here for the full paper.

A broad theoretical literature in economics and political science as well as circumstantial evidence suggest that legislators vote against their usual convictions in order to exchange favors with other legislators. This trade of votes is key to the law making process; however, quantitative evidence of its prevalence and evolution is nonexistent. We develop a general and scalable methodology to measure the prevalence of vote trading on a large scale, and to reveal its anatomy through a network of vote traders. This the first broad empirical assessment of the anatomy of vote trading in U.S. politics. This methodology can be applied to any institution with a simple majority rule, opening new paths in the study of human cooperation.