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The Structure of Policy Change$
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Derek A. Epp

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226529691

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226529868.001.0001

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Institutional Capacity in the American States

Institutional Capacity in the American States

(p.96) Six Institutional Capacity in the American States
The Structure of Policy Change

Derek A. Epp

University of Chicago Press

This chapter looks at budgeting across the fifty US states. It focuses on legislative professionalism—the amount of time lawmakers spend in session, the level of compensation lawmakers receive for their service, and, finally, the degree to which lawmakers can take advantage of government research services. Some state legislatures are highly professionalized and closely resemble the US Congress, but others, like New Hampshire, are designed to attract part-time "citizen legislators." The chapter argues that states with more professionalized legislatures have higher levels of institutional capacity and are therefore better equipped to process and react to policy information. Consistent with this argument, quantile regressions show that states with more professional legislatures see fewer major budgetary disruptions.

Keywords:   legislative professionalism, US states, budgetary disruptions, institutional capacity

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