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Political Friendship in the Legislature

Gregory A. Caldeira and Samuel C. Patterson
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Nov., 1987), pp. 953-975
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2130779
Page Count: 23
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Political Friendship in the Legislature
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Abstract

Behavior fundamental to the legislative process--channeling of information and dissemination of voting cues--is patterned in accord with the interpersonal ties of legislators. What are the bases of legislators' bonds of friendship? Three distinct models provide partial accounting for legislators' interpersonal ties: the attribute model, focusing on the characteristics of legislators; the homophily-heterophily model, emphasizing the "birds of a feather" phenomenon; and the propinquity model, drawing upon spatial proximities. Resting upon interpersonal friendship choices recorded by state legislators in Iowa, in this analysis we simultaneously estimate the effects of variables indicated by these three models. Attitudes toward legislative life, shared understandings of legislative roles, common committee service, shared partisanship, and spatial proximity emerge from the enquiry as major causes of political friendship in the legislature.

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