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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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Explaining Lawmaking in the United States, 1877–1994

Explaining Lawmaking in the United States, 1877–1994

(p.133) Chapter VI Explaining Lawmaking in the United States, 1877–1994
The Substance of Representation

John S. Lapinski

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to lawmaking and shows that legislative productivity varies considerably by policy issue area. Specifically, it illustrates that the key determinants of legislative productivity differ by policy substance. It also provides empirical evidence that questions the benefits of pooling legislation when such aggregation often obscures empirical findings related to understanding the mechanisms of lawmaking. The chapter aims to determine whether pooling policies (using an overall aggregate measure of all legislation) is potentially inappropriate. This multivariate analysis draws on data using two different thresholds of significance. The highest threshold uses the top 500 enactments; while the second threshold uses the top 3,500 enactments. This threshold captures landmarks for very important legislation.

Keywords:   lawmaking, legislative productivity, policy issue area, policy substance, legislation

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