Committee outliers in state legislatures

L. Marvin Overby, Thomas A. Kazee, David W. Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In this paper, we extend recent work exploring the prevalence of outlying committees in American state legislatures. Using an expanded sample of 45 states and measures of legislator preferences generated by a single, federated group, we find that most legislative committees are representative of the parent chambers from which their members are selected. Furthermore, we test multivariate models designed to account for theoretically relevant patterns in variations in outlier percentages among control and noncontrol committees. The fact that our models are such poor predictors of nonrepresentative committees speaks to the idiosyncratic nature of the relatively small percentage of outlying committees in the states. This conclusion, in turn, provides further support for the proposition that representative committees are simply rational.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-107
Number of pages27
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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