Ernesto Calvo is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Iñaki Sagarzazu is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Experimental Social Sciences, Nuffield College, University of Oxford (email@example.com).
Legislator Success in Committee: Gatekeeping Authority and the Loss of Majority Control
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2010
©2010, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 55, Issue 1, pages 1–15, January 2011
How to Cite
Calvo, E. and Sagarzazu, I. (2011), Legislator Success in Committee: Gatekeeping Authority and the Loss of Majority Control. American Journal of Political Science, 55: 1–15. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00476.x
We thank for their suggestions Juan Manuel Abal Medina (Jr.), Manuel Alcántara, Isabella Alcañiz, Eduardo Aleman, Maria Baron, Miguel de Luca, Marcelo Escolar, Tulia Falleti, Flavia Freidenberg, Eduard L. Gibson, Mariana Gutierrez, Eugenio Inchausti, Noah Kaplan, Juan Pablo Micozzi, Mercedes García Montero, Charles Munnell, Maria Victoria Murillo, Ana Maria Mustapic, Fernando Pedrosa, Susan Scarrow, Gisela Sin, Andres Tow, the participants of the Latin American Workshop at the University of Houston, and three anonymous reviewers.
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2010
In multiparty legislatures, the largest party or coalition may fall short of controlling a majority of plenary seats. However, plurality-led congresses generally endow the largest parties with extensive agenda-setting prerogatives, even when plenary majorities are lacking. In this article, we present a model and compelling evidence describing changes in the strategic behavior of committee chairs when majority control is lost. Using a dataset that includes all the bills proposed to the Argentine House in the last 25 years, we estimate success in committee in majority- and plurality-led congresses. We provide extensive evidence that the loss of majority control reduces the importance of the median voter of the plurality party while improving the success of the median committee voter.