Legislative Success in a Small World: Social Network Analysis and the Dynamics of Congressional Legislation

19 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2007

See all articles by Wendy K. Tam Cho

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

Date Written: January 1, 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Social Networks, Congress

JEL Classification: C4, C40

Suggested Citation

Cho, Wendy K. Tam and Fowler, James H., Legislative Success in a Small World: Social Network Analysis and the Dynamics of Congressional Legislation (January 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1007966

Wendy K. Tam Cho (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science; Department of Statistics; National Center for Supercomputing Applications ( email )

702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

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