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Explaining the Diffusion of Web-Based Communication Technology among Congressional Offices: A Natural Experiment using State Delegations


  • Esterling, Kevin
  • Neblo, Michael
  • Lazer, David


Do legislators learn to use new communication technologies from each other? Using data from the official homepages of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, we test whether web-based communication technology diffuses through congressional state delegations. We use a natural experimental design that exploits ignorable state boundaries to distinguish between causal diffusion processes and spatial heterogeneity. Using nonlinear conditional autoregressive models for the statistical test, we find that web communication technology practices are weakly driven by communication within state delegations, and with the effect slightly more pronounced among Democrats than among Republicans.

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  • Esterling, Kevin & Neblo, Michael & Lazer, David, 2009. "Explaining the Diffusion of Web-Based Communication Technology among Congressional Offices: A Natural Experiment using State Delegations," Scholarly Articles 4481606, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4481606

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:50:y:1956:i:04:p:1023-1045_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Peter R. Monge & Lynda White Rothman & Eric M. Eisenberg & Katherine I. Miller & Kenneth K. Kirste, 1985. "The Dynamics of Organizational Proximity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(9), pages 1129-1141, September.
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