Although congressional scholars agree that hearings are an important activity, there is little consensus on their role in the legislative process. The traditional literature on hearings plays down their role as mechanisms of disseminating information because committee members often do not appear persuaded by the information they reveal. We explore the premise that hearings may not be informative to committees but may provide crucial information to the floor. If hearings have some intrinsic informative content and are costly, even extreme committees can transmit useful information to the floor. The possibility of holding hearings creates an incentive for extreme commitees to specialize and reveal information simply by the decision whether to hold hearings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations