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Article
Representation in U.S. Legislatures: The Acquisition and Analysis of State Roll Call Data
State Politics and Policy Quarterly (2009)
  • Jennifer Hayes Clark, University of Houston - Main
  • Tracy Osborn, University of Iowa
  • Jonathan Winburn
  • Gerald C. Wright, Indiana University - Bloomington
Abstract
Roll-call data have become a staple of contemporary scholarship on legislative behavior. Recent methodological innovations in the analysis of roll-call data have produced a number of important theoretical insights, such as understanding the structure of congressional decisionmaking and the role of parties and ideology in Congress. Many of the methodological innovations and theoretical questions sparked by congressional scholarship have been difficult to test at the state level because of the lack of comprehensive data on various forms of state legislative behavior, including roll-call voting. The Representation in America’s Legislatures project rectifies that problem through collection of comprehensive state legislative roll-call votes across all 99 state legislative chambers for the 1999–2000 and 2003–04 legislative sessions. In this article,we describe the data available through this project as well as our data acquisition procedures,including Stata and Perl programming and OCR of paper documents, with suggestions about how to use these methods to collect a wide range of state-level data.
Keywords
  • state legislatures,
  • roll call voting
Disciplines
Publication Date
2009
Citation Information
Jennifer Hayes Clark, Tracy Osborn, Jonathan Winburn and Gerald C. Wright. "Representation in U.S. Legislatures: The Acquisition and Analysis of State Roll Call Data" State Politics and Policy Quarterly Vol. 9 Iss. 3 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jennifer_clark/6/