Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-xm8r8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-15T12:08:55.253Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Off the Record: Unrecorded Legislative Votes, Selection Bias and Roll-Call Vote Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2006

CLIFFORD J. CARRUBBA
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
MATTHEW GABEL
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
LACEY MURRAH
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
RYAN CLOUGH
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
REBECCA SCHAMBACH
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.

Abstract

Scholars often use roll-call votes to study legislative behaviour. However, many legislatures only conclude a minority of decisions by roll call. Thus, if these votes are not a random sample of the universe of votes cast, scholars may be drawing misleading inferences. In fact, theories over why roll-call votes are requested would predict selection bias based on exactly the characteristics of legislative voting that scholars have most heavily studied. This article demonstrates the character and severity of this sampling problem empirically by examining European Parliament vote data for a whole year. Given that many legislatures decided only a fraction of their legislation by roll call, these findings have potentially important implications for the general study of legislative behaviour.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)