The Demand and Supply of Parliamentary Policy Advocacy: Evidence from UK Health Policy, 1997-2005

Government and Opposition, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Rachel Dolan

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI)

Date Written: November, 28 2008

Abstract

Fundamental to democratic politics is the quality of representation of constituents' interests by elected officials. We statistically examine a case of substantive policy advocacy in Great Britain, specifically the issues of wait times and health rationing by the National Health Service (NHS) salient throughout the Blair years. An increase in constituent need for care implies an increase in demand for parliamentary representation, yet it does not necessarily mean that representation will be supplied because legislators juggle conflicting interests. We measure representative action using parliamentary questions from 1997-2005. Party and parliamentary status and a set of indicators of healthiness of British citizens provide measures of political supply and constituent demand. Employing count regression techniques, we find increased parliamentary questions as the proportion of individuals with some high health risks rise, but opposite results for other health risks. Evidence of political supply is much more consistent, suggesting that political careerism goes a long way toward explaining whether MPs table any questions at all in this policy area.

Keywords: health policy and politics, constituency service, personal vote, legislative politics

JEL Classification: H51, P16

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Dolan, Rachel, The Demand and Supply of Parliamentary Policy Advocacy: Evidence from UK Health Policy, 1997-2005 (November, 28 2008). Government and Opposition, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1308729

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Rachel Dolan

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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