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The paper analyzes legislative speech records in the U.S. Senate from the 101 st-108 th Congresses. We apply a widely-used text classification algorithm-Support Vector Machines (SVM)-to extract the terms that are most indicative of conservative and liberal positions from legislative speeches and to predict Senators' ideological positions in the 108 th(More)
Theories in political economy depend critically on assumptions about motivations of politicians. Our analysis starts from the premise that politicians, like other economic agents, are rational individuals who make career decisions by comparing the expected returns of alternative choices. The main goal of the paper is to quantify the returns to a career in(More)
T he so-called " paradox of voting " is a major anomaly for rational choice theories of elections. If voting is costly and citizens are rational, then in large electrorates the expected turnout would be small, for if many people voted the chance of anyone being pivotal would be too small to make the act worthwhile. Yet many people do vote, even in large(More)
Recently there has been increasing interest in constructing general-purpose political opinion classifiers for applications in e-Rulemaking. This problem is generally modeled as a sentiment classification task in a new domain. However, the classification accuracy is not as good as that in other domains such as customer reviews. In this paper, we report the(More)
Many natural and social systems display global organization and coordination without centralized control. The origin of this global coordination is a topic of great current interest. Here we investigate a density-classification task as a model system for coordination and information processing in decentralized systems. We show that sophisticated strategies,(More)
Two quantitative meta-analyses examined how the presence of visual channels, vocal channels, and synchronicity influences the quality of outcomes in negotiations and group decision making. A qualitative review of the literature found that the effects of communication channels vary widely and that existing theories do not sufficiently account for these(More)
It is often argued that additional checks and balances provide economic agents with better protection from expropriation of their wealth or productive capital. We demonstrate that in a dynamic political economy model this intuition may be ‡awed. Surprisingly, increasing the number of veto players or the majority requirement for redistribution may reduce(More)