Legislative Success in a Small World: Social Network Analysis and the Dynamics of Congressional Legislation
19 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2007
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: Social Networks, Congress
JEL Classification: C4, C40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation