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Congressional Roommates: How Living Together Impacts Legislative Collaboration

Siegal, Alex Victor

In the recent past, several groups of members of Congress have chosen to live together as roommates in shared part-time homes. In this undergraduate honors thesis, I investigate whether these residential relationships have an impact on the lawmakers’ rates of collaboration with one another. Theoretically, roommates will collaborate with one another more because of greater proximity, mutual self-interest, and altruism. This paper tracks two case studies qualitatively and quantitatively, using news coverage, research interviews with former members of Congress, probit regression analysis, and a difference-in-differences quasi-experiment to find significant support for a substantial “roommate effect” independent of a range of controls including ideology and party.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Shapiro, Robert Yale
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
April 7, 2021

Notes

Political Science undergraduate honors thesis, completed March 31, 2021. The faculty advisor was Robert Shapiro, Ph.D., the seminar leader was Macartan Humphreys, Ph.D., and the seminar preceptor was Elena Barham. Includes interviews with Secretary Leon Panetta and Reps. Bill Delahunt, Sam Gejdenson, and Erik Paulsen.