Agenda setting and legislative success in state legislatures: The effects of gender and race
In this paper, we investigate the agenda-setting behavior of female and black state legislators, and examine whether women and blacks are as successful as white men in passing legislation. Using a six-state, three-year sample, we test a descriptive representation model in which group members (blacks and women) represent group interests above and beyond the extent motivated by constituency and party pressures. Moreover, in keeping with the social distance between the races, we expect blacks to be less successful than whites at passing legislation. We find that although constituency influences sponsorship agendas, blacks and women share a set of distinctive policy interests. Women are generally as likely as men to achieve passage of the legislation they introduce, whereas blacks are, in three states, significantly less likely than whites to pass legislation.
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