"Diverse Legislatures and Policy Output: Do Gender Quotas Increase Productivity?"
Gender quotas have been an effective tool for increasing the representation of women and women's interests in political institutions. While there are many arguments in favor of the positive effects of quotas in terms of equality in representation, others have focused on their potential negative effects for decreasing the quality of candidate pools and representative in institutions. Following recent work on legislative effectiveness, I investigate how gender quotas impact overall effectiveness, or productivity, of both male and female politicians. I argue that quotas increase this productivity by inducing more competitive political environments and reducing the cost of free riding within parties.
"Internal Party Decision Making And Programmatic Clarity"
Political parties are often treated as unitary actors even though decision making within most parties is complex. This paper looks inside the "black box" of the party to investigate the electoral consequences of the structure of decision making power within parties. Parties vary in how many actors hold decision making power and I leverage this variance to investigate the ambiguity of party positions in manifestos. I do so by examining the party rules that dictate the determination of policy programs. By combining data on the internal structure of parties with data party positions and clarity of programs, this paper provides insight into the effects of party organization on electoral viability and representation.
"Working Hard or Hardly Working: Party Oversight and Legislative Productivity"
In the process of making policy, legislators must choose where, when, and how to invest their time and expertise. They make these choices with a myriad of reputational – both individual and partisan – and policy considerations in mind. The solutions to these challenges are the result of incentives created by legislative institutions, political parties, electoral systems, and ultimately individual re-election strategies. Examining one aspect of this incentive structure, this paper investigates how political party oversight can encourage or discourage certain legislative behaviors. Specifically, I examine how candidate selection for electoral lists and party leadership oversight impacts the amount of visible effort a legislator expends. In order to test this relationship across many different party organizations and electoral systems, national party organization is linked to legislative effort in the European Parliament. While this allows for comparison across many parties and countries, it also controls for institutional variation, which holds institution-specific benefits of legislative effort constant across legislators. The paper utilizes a unique data set of national party organization in Europe and legislative activity in the European Parliament and the results suggest that parties in the national opposition that also include members of the Parliament in their executive leadership have the most visibly productive legislators.
"New Players, Old Patterns: Croatian Political Parties and Second Order European Elections."
For a condensed version of the content in this paper see: "Croatian Political Parties Prepare for EU Entry." European Union Center of Excellence Newsletter, Summer 2013.