Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 11 > Issue 1

The Elusive Quest for Convergence

Anthony Fowler, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, USA, anthony.fowler@uchicago.edu Andrew B. Hall, Department of Political Science, Stanford University, USA, andrewbhall@stanford.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Anthony Fowler and Andrew B. Hall (2016), "The Elusive Quest for Convergence", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 11: No. 1, pp 131-149. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00015082

Published: 18 Apr 2016
© 2016 A. Fowler and A. B. Hall
 
Subjects
Elections:Electoral behavior,  Elections:Electoral institutions,  Legislatures:Lawmaking,  Elections:Voting behavior,  Elections:Voting theory,  Electoral behavior,  Electoral institutions,  Lawmaking,  Legislatures,  Political parties
 
Keywords
Electionspolitical representationlegislatures
 

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In this article:
1. Data and Measurement
2. Results: A Failure of Convergence across 8 Policy Domains
3. What Explains Divergence?
4. Conclusion
References

Abstract

Does American political representation work as predicted by theory? On average, political candidates diverge considerably in their ideological positioning, but do they diverge less on issues of particular salience to their local constituents? We combine data on congressional roll call votes, electoral outcomes, district demographics, and substantive information about bills to search for convergence in the places we would most expect to find it. Despite the predictions of prominent models, legislators diverge just as much even when their constituents have strong interests in a particular policy area. These results provide new insights into policymaking and political representation, and they help distinguish between different theoretical explanations for why candidate positions diverge.

DOI:10.1561/100.00015082

Online Appendix | 100.00015082_app.pdf

This is the article's accompanying appendix.

DOI: 10.1561/100.00015082_app

Replication Data | 100.00015082_supp.zip (ZIP).

This file contains the data that is required to replicate the data on your own system.

DOI: 10.1561/100.00015082_supp