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.
Krehbiel. 1993. Where's the party?. British Journal of Political Science 23: 235-66.
Too frequently, scholars observe a 60-40 Congressional vote on partisan lines and conclude that partisanship affects votoing. As Krehbiel observes, correlation is not causation; ideological concerns may have led to the same outcome, independent of partisanship (see Fig 1, 239). Krehbiel addresses three main concerns:
Krehbiel finds that partisanship has almost no significant effect in the US House. Thus, he rejects the premise that "one important legislative function of political parties is to govern by passing laws that are different from those that would be passed in the absence of parties" (255).
Krehbiel examines two situations in which partisanship should affect outcomes: Committee assignments and appointment of Conferees (to conference with the Senate on a bill). When it comes to committee assignments, seats are allocated based more on ideology than partisanship. Similarly, Conferees are appointed based on committee and House seniority, not partisanship (see Table 5, pg 256).
Rohde presented reams of evidence and concluded that partisanship does matter in the House. Krehbiel suggests that what Rohde really found was "preferenceship," not partisanship--Rohde's story looks more like Figure 1a than 1b (pg 239).
Research by the same authors
Research on similar subjects
Krehbiel, Keith (author) • American Politics • Party Government • Legislatures • Preferences • Cartel Theory • Conditional Party Government • Congress (U.S.) • Parties • State Politics (U.S.) • Legislative Parties