Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.
Cox and McCubbins. 1993. Legislative leviathan.
Research question: How do we explain the organization of the institutions of the House of Representatives?
Argument: Parties, acting as types of legislative cartels, organize the House in order to solve their collective dilemmas, namely (1) passing party-defined collective policies and (2) minimizing member defection. The resolution of these dilemmas allows individual party members to sacrifice some individual benefits in order to obtain collective benefits.
The arguments in this book were updated in Cox and McCubbins (2004).
Majority party uses several structural and procedural rules to minimize agency losses, including:
The majority party rules in the House: control of the agenda allows the majority party to favor its members by privileging bills sponsored by members of the majority, and by providing then greater veto-powers over legislation (relative to the minority party).
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