Specialization Decisions within Committee
This study inspects specialization in legislatures by moving from a relatively macro level of analysis of committee-floor interaction to a relatively microlevel study of individual decision making within committee. This approach also addresses a common shortcoming in studies of specialization within committees: imperfect measurement. Signaling-theoretic reasoning provides a foundation for analysis of individual legislators' specialization decisions. Two testable conjectures are stated. One relates costs of specialization to the decision to specialization in an obvious fashion, and the other relates preference extremity to specialization in a manner that sharply contrasts a claim in recent literature on legislative participation. The empirical analysis centers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and provides support for the conjectures, first in an indirect but conventional manner (probit estimates on cosponsorship) and then in a more direct and unique manner that addresses the obstacle of imperfect measurement of specialization. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 13 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
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