The effect of place on legislative roll-call voting: The case of central-city representatives in the US House

Citation
H. Wolman et L. Marckini, The effect of place on legislative roll-call voting: The case of central-city representatives in the US House, SOC SCI Q, 81(3), 2000, pp. 763-781
Citations number
26
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Pages
763 - 781
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200009)81:3<763:TEOPOL>2.0.ZU;2-W
Abstract
Objective. The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of place d ifferences-city, suburban, and nonmetropolitan-on voting behavior in the U. S. House of Representatives. Because the information necessary to classify congressional districts according to their settlement pattern is not regula rly provided by the Census Bureau, studies of the impact of place on congre ssional voting behavior continue to rely on improper operationalizations of place. Methods. We reconstructed the data provided by the Census Bureau in order to classify districts as central city, suburban, nonmetropolitan, or mixed. Using multivariate analysis, we then tested the hypothesis that, co ntrolling for a wide range of other factors, representatives' voting behavi or varies by type of settlement pattern, and, in particular, that the votin g behavior of central-city representatives is more liberal than that of non -central-city representatives. Results. We found that, controlling for legi slator's party, personal characteristics, region, and constituency characte ristics, the type of place a legislator represents has a significant and no ntrivial impact on legislator voting behavior, and that increases in the pe rcentage of central-city residents in a representative's district are assoc iated with increases in liberal voting by the representative in the House. Conclusions. Since living in a central city is significantly associated wit h greater liberalism on roll-call voting, ceteris paribus, the movement of population from the cities and the decline in the number of majority centra l-city districts will reduce liberal voting behavior in the House.