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Obstruction, Germaneness and Representativeness in Legislatures

Krehbiel, Keith (1984) Obstruction, Germaneness and Representativeness in Legislatures. Social Science Working Paper, 510. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Obstruction has often been regarded as an abhorrent feature of American legislatures, but few attempts have been made to specify the conditions under which it occurs or the precise nature and degree of its putative evil. This paper presents a theory of decentralized decision-making that specifies the necessary and sufficient conditions for sophisticated obstruction by committees. The assumptions of the theory are embedded in a simulation model which generates preferences and status quo points, identifies outcomes under competing behavioral assumptions, and estimates the representativeness of outcomes as a function of legislators' ideal points. The results call for rejection of the hypothesis that obstruction leads to unrepresentative outcomes. A discussion of the House's discharge petition examines the findings in a richer congressional context.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:510
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170920-151055384
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81641
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:20 Sep 2017 22:32
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:45

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