Legislative Style and the Dynamics of Congressional Careers

Research output: Working paper


Members of Congress face a variety of choices about how to allocate their time and effort. Collectively, these decisions comprise what we call an MC’s “legislative style.” We take the first steps toward defining and analyzing legislative style, focusing on the behavior of all members of the House of Representatives who served in the 101st-110th Congresses (1989-2008). We gather data on a large number of activities undertaken by MCs, categorize these into indices that we view as components of legislative style, and then use model-based clustering approaches to uncover how these components cluster together. Our results reveal that MCs' legislative styles are predictable and relatively stable across time. These findings have important implications for our understanding of legislators' careers, the quality of constituency representation, and the nature of policy outcomes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages39
StatePublished - Aug 29 2013

Publication series

NameAPSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper


  • Congress
  • agendas
  • activity
  • cluster


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