Agency theory and the House bank affair

Dianna C. Preece, Donald J. Mullineaux, Greg Filbeck, Steven A. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In one of the worst political scandals of the 1990s, a large number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote checks on nonexistent balances in what has become known as the House bank scandal. Agency theory tells us that the most entrenched members of the House should be more likely to consume excessive perquisites in the form of writing more bad checks. In this paper, we employ a Tobit model to test whether more entrenched members of the House engaged in excessive writing of bad checks. Our results support the agency-theoretic interpretation and confirm that entrenched members were more likely to write a greater number of bad checks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalReview of Financial Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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