American Politics Speaker Series- Alan Wiseman (Vanderbilt Univ)
Abstract: What experiences contribute to a legislator becoming an effective lawmaker in Congress? In this paper we draw on new estimates of legislative effectiveness from 46 states between 1989 and 2018 to explore the role of state legislative experience and state lawmaking effectiveness in shaping effectiveness at the federal level. Specifically, we demonstrate that highly effective state legislators who are elected to Congress from more professional state legislatures are more effective than their congressional counterparts who either did not serve at the state level or who served in less-professional legislatures. Such lawmakers behave similarly to much more senior members of Congress; they introduce more legislation and successfully address issues of greater substantive significance. Our findings raise the potential importance of looking to state legislatures for the next generation of highly skilled federal lawmakers, and they speak to broader questions about the identification of candidate traits that are related to their subsequent lawmaking effectiveness in the U.S. Congress.Bio: Professor Wiseman's research agenda addresses the impact of political institutions on political actors' behavior and strategies, focusing substantively on legislative, electoral, and bureaucratic and regulatory politics in the United States. He is the author of The Internet Economy: Access, Taxes, and Market Structure (Brookings Institution Press, 2000), and has published research in journals including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Theoretical Politics. His current scholarship examines the impact of executive oversight of bureaucratic rulemaking and lawmaking in the United States and other developed democracies, and he is also writing a book on the causes and consequences of legislative effectiveness in the United States Congress, and studying the emergence and consequences of industry self-regulation in different product and service markets. Prior joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University, he served on the faculty of The Ohio State University, where he directed the undergraduate public policy minor in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He has also been a visiting Associate Professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management; and before entering the academy he served as a visiting economic scholar with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
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