Congress

Congress : A Political-economic History of Roll Call Voting

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Using supercomputers, the authors have analysed 16 million individual roll call votes since the two Houses of Congress began recording votes in 1789. By tracing the voting patterns of Congress throughout the country's history, Poole and Rosenthal find that, despite a wide array of issues facing legislators, over 80 per cent of a legislator's voting decisions can be attributed to a consistent ideological position ranging from ultraconservatixm to ultraliberalism.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 310 pages
  • 162.1 x 238.3 x 24.9mm | 680.4g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 93 line drawings, bibliography
  • 0195055772
  • 9780195055771

Review quote

"For any researcher contemplating an investigation of congressional roll call voting behavior, Poole and Rosenthal's book is a "must read." Their approach is unique and differs from that adhered to by many economists....Their work is well known among political scientists and deserves to be known by economists and historians as well."--The Journal of Economic History"The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of roll-call voting and the careful analysis of legislator ideology."-- ac Heckelman, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University "For any researcher contemplating an investigation of congressional roll call voting behavior, Poole and Rosenthal's book is a "must read." Their approach is unique and differs from that adhered to by many economists....Their work is well known among political scientists and deserves to be known by economists and historians as well."--The Journal of Economic History "The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of roll-call voting and the careful analysis of legislator ideology."-- ac Heckelman, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University "For any researcher contemplating an investigation of congressional roll call voting behavior, Poole and Rosenthal's book is a "must read." Their approach is unique and differs from that adhered to by many economists....Their work is well known among political scientists and deserves to be known by economists and historians as well."--The Journal of Economic History "The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of roll-call voting and the careful analysis of legislator ideology."-- ac Heckelman, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University "For any researcher contemplating an investigation of congressional roll call voting behavior, Poole and Rosenthal's book is a "must read." Their approach is unique and differs from that adhered to by many economists....Their work is well known among political scientists and deserves to be known byeconomists and historians as well."--The Journal of Economic History"The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of roll-call voting and the careful analysis of legislator ideology."--ac Heckelman, Department of Economics, Wake Forest Universityshow more

Back cover copy

In this wide-ranging and innovative study, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal use 200 years of congressional roll call voting as a framework for a new interpretation of important episodes in American political and economic history. Despite the wide array of issues faced by legislators over the past two hundred years, the authors have found that over eighty percent of a legislator's voting decisions can be attributed to a consistent and predictable ideological position ranging from ultraliberalism to ultraconservatism. Using a simple geometric model of voting, the authors shows that roll call voting has a very simple structure and for most of American history roll call voting patterns are very stable. This stability is based upon two great issues - the extent of government regulation or intervention in the economy, and race. Poole and Rosenthal also examine alternative models of roll call voting and find them lacking. In several detailed case studies, they show that constituency interest or pocketbook voting models fail to account for voting on minimum wages, strip mining, food stamps, and railroad regulation. Because of its scope and controversial findings which challenge established political and economic models used to explain Congressional behavior, Congress will be essential reading for both political scientists, economists, and historians.show more

About Keith T. Poole

Keith T. Poole is Professor of Politics and Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. Howard Rosenthal is Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University.show more

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