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Journal Article

Long-Term Change and Stability in House Voting Decisions: The Case of the Minimum Wage

Scott R. Meinke
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 103-126
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3598623
Page Count: 24
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Long-Term Change and Stability in House Voting Decisions: The Case of the Minimum Wage
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Abstract

Although members of Congress exhibit considerable stability in their voting decisions on similar, recurring issues, members' long-term voting histories reveal evidence of systematic instability as well. I argue that members reverse positions in predictable ways when the vote history loses value as a decision cue, and I present empirical evidence for this behavior in the context of the highly salient and regularly repeated House decisions on increasing the federal minimum wage. The empirical findings suggest that reversals of member positions are related to institutional, electoral, and constituency factors. I conclude by discussing the importance of these findings to understanding congressional decision making and representation.

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