Measuring Legislative Preferences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


Innovation in the estimation of spatial models of roll-call voting has been one of the most important developments in the study of Congress and other legislative and judicial institutions. The popularity of ideal point estimation is due to its close link to theoretical work on legislative politics and collective decision-making. Several of the paradigms and models of contemporary legislative decision-making are based on spatial representations of preferences hence ideal estimation is very significant in studies on legislatures, and on courts and executives. This article aims to provide a general and a less technical overview of the literature on ideal point estimation. It makes explicit comparisons to interest group ratings in order to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of ideal point estimation in applied work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the American Congress
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191724862
ISBN (Print)9780199559947
StatePublished - May 2 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Congress
  • Decision-making
  • Ideal point estimation
  • Legislature
  • Preferences
  • Roll-call voting


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