District Attentiveness and Representation in the Modern Congress
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CitationKaslovsky, Jaclyn. 2020. District Attentiveness and Representation in the Modern Congress. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractWhile spending time at home among constituents is a fundamental part of representation, few studies have provided a detailed accounting of legislator behavior in the district. As a result, the effects of such behaviors, otherwise known as a legislator's "home style," on the quality of representation remain unknown. In this dissertation, I use newly collected data on senator travel, staffing, and credit claiming patterns to test classic theories of legislator behavior in the district and their applicability to representation in the modern Congress. In the first paper, I examine if district activities serve as a complement or substitute to policy representation. To do so, I investigate how a senator's decision to allocate time and staff to a county interacts with their roll call voting behavior. In the second paper, I analyze which local communities senators choose to emphasize in their official communications with constituents. Finally, in the third paper I turn the discussion to the House. I investigate if ideologically extreme representatives use constituency service differently than moderates and the subsequent consequences for constituent perceptions. Taken together, these papers expand our knowledge of legislator behavior in the district and the representative-constituent relationship.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365878
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