Feb 23, 2018

Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Senate

Vol. 80 (2)
Alan E. Wiseman

Just like members of the House, US senators vary in how effective they are at lawmaking. We create Legislative Effectiveness Scores for each senator in each of the 93rd–113th Congresses (1973–2015). We use these scores to explore common claims about institutional differences in lawmaking between the House and the Senate. Our analysis offers strong support for the claim that the Senate is a more egalitarian and individualistic lawmaking body, in comparison to the relatively hierarchical institutional structure of the House. The scores developed here offer scholars numerous opportunities to explore important lawmaking phenomena.