The Role of Party: The Legislative Consequences of Partisan Electoral Competition

Legislative Studies Quarterly 38(1)

25 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 22 Nov 2012

See all articles by Royce Carroll

Royce Carroll

University of Essex - Department of Government

Jason Eichorst

Rice University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

We examine the proposition that incentives for legislative organization can be explained by the nature of electoral competition. We argue that legislators in environments where parties are competitive for majority status are most likely to have delegated power to their leadership to constrain individualistic behavior within their party, which will in turn increase the spatial predictability of individual voting patterns. Using roll call votes and district-level electoral data from the U.S. state legislatures, we show empirically that increased statewide interparty competition corresponds to much more predictable voting behavior overall, while legislators from competitive districts have less predictable behavior.

Keywords: legislative organization, electoral competition, legislative voting

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Carroll, Royce and Eichorst, Jason, The Role of Party: The Legislative Consequences of Partisan Electoral Competition (2013). Legislative Studies Quarterly 38(1), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1901212

Royce Carroll

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Jason Eichorst (Contact Author)

Rice University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

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