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Objective. To determine if increased black descriptive representation in state legislatures has resulted in greater influence over policy outputs.

Methods. I examine state budgets over a 24-year period, comparing changes in spending priorities within budgets.

Results. The results demonstrate that increased black representation has resulted in state legislatures giving greater priority to policy areas important to black elected officials.

Conclusion. When measured correctly, increased descriptive representation can result in increased substantive representation in large political institutions.