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The Substance of RepresentationCongress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking$
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John S. Lapinski

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691137810

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691137810.001.0001

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Legislative Accomplishment and Policy Issue Substance

Legislative Accomplishment and Policy Issue Substance

(p.104) Chapter V Legislative Accomplishment and Policy Issue Substance
The Substance of Representation

John S. Lapinski

Princeton University Press

This chapter introduces a new measure of legislative accomplishment. To understand lawmaking requires that one move beyond studying political behavior in Congress alone and beyond a complete empirical reliance on roll call votes. Moreover, legislative behavior and legislative outputs must be studied in tandem to gain a proper understanding of the lawmaking process in the United States. Although the idea of studying important lawmaking across time is not controversial, constructing an appropriate measure is not a trivial exercise. The chapter constructs a comprehensive lawmaking data set that provides measures of legislative accomplishment at the aggregate level as well as by specific policy issue areas for a 118-year period. It also explains the construction of Congress-by-Congress measures of legislative accomplishment, including measures broken down by the policy-coding schema.

Keywords:   legislative behavior, legislative output, lawmaking, Congress, roll call votes, legislative accomplishment, policy-coding schema

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