January 2021

Measuring Aggregate Policy Priorities of the U.S. House of Representatives

By Philip D. Waggoner, University of Chicago

Abstract: Tracing individual policy priorities through bill sponsorship is a relatively common occurrence in policy research. Yet, do individual priorities translate to institutional priorities? I address this by offering a statistical approach to measuring and mapping the policy priorities of the U.S. House of Representatives over the post-war period. Assuming individually sponsored bills are reflections of individual legislators’ priorities, and thus aggregate sponsored bills...

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