The Keys to Legislative Success in the U.S. House of Representatives

Authors

  • WILLIAM D. ANDERSON,

    1. Ohio State University
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    • William D. Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier is Associate Professor of Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2140 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43235.

  • JANET M. BOX-STEFFENSMEIER,

    1. Ohio State University
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    • William D. Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier is Associate Professor of Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2140 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43235.

  • VALERIA SINCLAIR-CHAPMAN

    1. University of Rochester
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    • Valeria Sinclair-Chapman is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627–0146.


Abstract

Our research addresses how individual member behavior and institutional variables affect legislative success in the U.S. House of Representatives. Using new measures of activity from the 103d Congress (1993–94), a count dependent variable, and negative binomial regression, our analysis assesses member effectiveness. We find that a member's activity level encourages legislative success, but gains are limited when members speak or sponsor too frequently. Our results provide a clearer picture of the role of legislative context and the relevance of institutions in determining a member's legislative successes and failures.

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