Partisan Agenda Control and the Dimensionality of Congress

35 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2009 Last revised: 17 May 2011

See all articles by Keith L. Dougherty

Keith L. Dougherty

University of Georgia

Michael S. Lynch

University of Kansas

Anthony J. Madonna

University of Georgia - Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 24, 2011

Abstract

Recent scholarship has questioned the familiar characterization of congressional voting as unidimensional (Crespin and Rohde 2007; Roberts et al. 2008). We build on these efforts by showing how a simple type of agenda control can suppress a latent second dimension. We argue that attempts to keep the majority party unified can lead to the estimation of more vertical cut lines and prevent the revelation of ideological differences along a second dimension. We evaluate this argument by examining the relationship between cut line angles and various measures of party control for all recorded roll call votes in the House of Representatives from 1875 to 1997. We also examine the relationship between measures of a second dimension and majority party unity in congress level regression. Our findings help to explain why a single dimension might explain a large amount of the variance in voting data when latent ideology is multidimensional.

Keywords: ideal points, dimensions, congress

JEL Classification: H1

Suggested Citation

Dougherty, Keith L. and Lynch, Michael S. and Madonna, Anthony J., Partisan Agenda Control and the Dimensionality of Congress (April 24, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1450073

Keith L. Dougherty (Contact Author)

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
1-706-542-2989 (Phone)
1-706-542-4421 (Fax)

Michael S. Lynch

University of Kansas ( email )

1415
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Anthony J. Madonna

University of Georgia - Department of Political Science ( email )

104 Baldwin Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
57
Abstract Views
712
rank
372,265
PlumX Metrics