Legislative Cosponsorhip Networks in the U.S. House and Senate

Social Networks, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 454-465, October 2006

Posted: 20 Aug 2007

See all articles by James H. Fowler

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

Abstract

In the U.S. House and Senate, each piece of legislation is sponsored by a unique legislator. In addition, legislators can publicly express support for a piece of legislation by cosponsoring it. The network of sponsors and cosponsors provides information about the underlying social networks among legislators. I use a number of statistics to describe the cosponsorship network in order to show that it behaves much differently than other large social networks that have been recently studied. In particular, the cosponsorship network is much denser than other networks and aggregate features of the network appear to be influenced by institutional arrangements and strategic incentives. I also demonstrate that a weighted closeness centrality measure that I call 'connectedness' can be used to identify influential legislators.

Suggested Citation

Fowler, James H., Legislative Cosponsorhip Networks in the U.S. House and Senate. Social Networks, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 454-465, October 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1008004

James H. Fowler (Contact Author)

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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