Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate

Authors: Ethan Hershberger, William Minozzi, Craig Volden

Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. 

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Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Senate

Authors: Craig Volden, Alan E. Wiseman

Just like members of the House, US senators vary in how effective they are at lawmaking. We create Legislative Effectiveness Scores for each senator in each of the 93rd–113th Congresses (1973–2015). We use these scores to explore common claims about institutional differences in lawmaking between the House and the Senate. 

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Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness

Authors: Craig Volden, Alan Wiseman, Matt Hitt

Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem to the inclusion of institutional considerations such as committees, political parties, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is better than another at solving public policy problems and that all policy makers are equally effective at advancing proposals.

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Ideology, Learning, and Policy Diffusion: Experimental Evidence

Authors: Craig Volden, Daniel M. Butler, Adam Dynes, Boris Shor

We introduce experimental research design to the study of policy diffusion in order to better understand how political ideology affects policymakers’ willingness to learn from one another’s experiences. Our two experiments–embedded in national surveys of U.S. municipal officials–expose local policymakers to vignettes describing the zoning and home foreclosure policies of other cities, offering opportunities to learn more. We find that: (1) policymakers who are ideologically predisposed against the described policy are relatively unwilling to learn from others, but (2) such ideological biases can be overcome with an emphasis on the policy’s success or on its adoption by co-partisans in other communities.

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Ideology, Learning, and Policy Diffusion: Experimental Evidence

Authors: Craig Volden, Daniel M. Butler, Adam M. Dynes, Boris Shor

We introduce experimental research design to the study of policy diffusion in order to better understand how political ideology affects policymakers’ willingness to learn from one another’s experiences. Our two experiments–embedded in national surveys of U.S. municipal officials–expose local policymakers to vignettes describing the zoning and home foreclosure policies of other cities, offering opportunities to learn more.

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Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers

Authors: Craig Volden, Alan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt University, Dana E. Wittmer, Colorado College

This book explores why some members of Congress are more effective than others at navigating the legislative process and what this means for how Congress is organized and what policies it produces. Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman develop a new metric of individual legislator effectiveness (the Legislative Effectiveness Score) that will be of interest to scholars, voters, and politicians alike. 

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