Tag Archives: american political science review

Broad Bills or Particularistic Policy? Historical Patterns in American State Legislatures

If you want your legislators to pass general policies that benefit the state as a whole, pay them less, make districts bigger, and strive for partisan balance. If you want your legislators to pass pork and other district-focused bills, pay them more, make districts smaller, and promote one-party government. When will state legislators take on […]

Personality and Political Attitudes: Relationships across Issue Domains and Political Contexts

Conservatives are hard-working, organized, closed-minded, and emotionally stable. Liberals are lazy, disorganized, open-minded, and neurotic. Let’s see how the punditocracy spins that one. Yesterday I wrote about Mondak et al.’s recent APSR article about personality and political participation. On the very next page of the same issue of APSR, you’ll find a closely related article […]

Personality and Civic Engagement: An Integrative Framework for the Study of Trait Effects on Political Behavior

We cannot understand the effects of personality without accounting for the environment, and we cannot understand the effects of the environment without accounting for personality. Political scientists pay very little attention to personality when they study political behavior. Instead, they prefer to look at environmental variables (campaign spending, personal income, personal education, candidate quality, electoral […]

Campaign Communications in U.S. Congressional Elections

The authors have identified a cheap, easy way to capture a fuller sample of current campaign messages. We’ve long known that most voters pay little attention to campaign rhetoric; they pay far more attention to partisanship, incumbency, and other easily accessible considerations (although rhetoric certainly has its place). Still, candidates work hard to develop arguments […]

Do Electoral Quotas Work after They Are Withdrawn? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India

Women are five times more likely to win in post-quota seats than in other seats. Chew on that. Five times more likely. Women and minorities have a tough time winning American elections. Although half of Americans are female, only 15% of Congress is. Although only 69% of Americans are white, 89% of state legislators and […]

Moral Bias in Large Elections: Theory and Experimental Evidence

In late 2003, Howard Dean lamented that southern white guys with confederate flags on their trucks ought to be voting for Democrats; after all, it’s the Democrats who want to help the working classes. Folks like Dean think that these southern white guys are being duped by wealthy upper-crust Republicans, who trick the southerners into […]

Delegating Direct Democracy: Interparty Legislative Competition and the Adoption of the Initiative in the American States

When a minority party gains tenuous control of the legislature, or when a majority feels that it might become the minority soon, then legislators gain an incentive to weaken the legislature by empowering the median voter. Today, voters in 24 states can make policy directly through the initiative process. In most of these states, the […]

A Formal Model of Learning and Policy Diffusion

Much of the empirical work to date has not adequately distinguished [game-theoretic] learning-based policy diffusion from [decision-theoretic] myopic individual adoptions. Those who advocate federalism argue that devolution improves policy outcomes nationwide by providing opportunities for local experimentation. In the words of Louis Brandeis, justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1932): It is one of the […]