The hunt for party discipline in congress

Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, Howard Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


We analyze party discipline in the House of Representatives between 1947 and 1998. The effects of party pressures can be represented in a spatial model by allowing each party to have its own cutting line on roll call votes. Adding a second cutting line makes, at best, a marginal improvement over the standard single-line model. Analysis of legislators who switch parties shows, however, that party discipline is manifest in the location of the legislator's ideal point. In contrast to our approach, we find that the Snyder-Groseclose method of estimating the influence of party discipline is biased toward exaggerating party effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-687
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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