Theories of legislative organization and the development of United States state legislative committee systems
Martorano, Nancy A.
Hamm, Keith E.
Doctor of Philosophy
Over the course of the twentieth century, the committee systems of U.S. state legislatures have undergone major transformations in their structure and procedure. The purpose of this dissertation will be to assess these changes using three well-known theories concerning the role of the committee system in the U.S. Congress. These theories are the distributive (Shepsle 1986; Weingast and Marshall 1988; Baron and Ferejohn 1989), informational (Maas 1983; Gilligan and Krehbiel 1987, 1989, 1990; Krehbiel 1991) and partisan theories (Kiewiet and McCubbins 1991; Cox and McCubbins 1993). Specifically, this dissertation delineates and empirically tests expectations about the adoption of and changes in committee system procedures based upon the distributive, informational and partisan theories of legislative organization. The analysis concludes that none of the theories are able to account generally for the adoption of committee related state legislative rules of procedure nor can they account generally for changes in them.