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Institutions and Popular Control of Public Policy

October 21st, 2008 humas 1 comment

John G. Matsusaka

In democracy, public opinion is supposed to influence policymaking, yet evidence on the amount of congruence between policy and opinion, or the factors that affect congruence, is scarce.

This paper constructs a simple measure of policy congruence on 10 separate issues in all 50 states. For these policies, states chose the outcome favored by the majority 59 percent of the time, only 9 percent more often than would happen with random policymaking. Read more…