Legislative Success in a Small World: Social Network Analysis and the Dynamics of Congressional Legislation
Wendy K. Tam Cho
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science; Department of Statistics; National Center for Supercomputing Applications
James H. Fowler
UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine
January 1, 2007
We examine the social network structure of Congress from 1973-2004. We treat two Members of Congress as directly linked if they have cosponsored a bill together. We then construct explicit networks for each year using data from all forms of legislation, including resolutions, public and private bills, and amendments. We show that Congress exemplifies the characteristics of a "small world" network and that the varying small world properties during this time period are strongly related to the number of important bills passed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Social Networks, Congress
JEL Classification: C4, C40working papers series
Date posted: August 18, 2007
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