Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Cameron Shelton


The Primary purpose of this paper is to examine the role and importance of Senior Senators in the US Senate. Many states rely on Senators to bring in federal spending in the form of pork. When states lose their Senior Senator and the power they accumulated through increased tenure, they risk losing certain benefits in terms of pork. We use federal expenditures per dollar of tax and analyze how it is affected by Seniority in the Senate. Population, Income, and unemployment rates in each state were controlled for in our regression analysis. It is concluded that increased tenure significantly increases federal spending to Senators’ states. Though this is statistically significant, we find the effects of losing a Senior Senator to be insignificant in the overall welfare of a state.