Title page for ETD etd-04142004-104615

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rickards, Dylan Scott
URN etd-04142004-104615
Title Predicting Party Switching in U.S. State Legislatures
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert Hogan Committee Chair
Leonard Ray Committee Member
T. Wayne Parent Committee Member
  • Strategic Politicians
Date of Defense 2004-01-29
Availability unrestricted
Using a strategic politician model, I argue that we should be able to predict when legislators are going to switch parties by weighing the costs and benefits of party switching under different circumstances. Using variables that measure electoral risk and opportunities for advancement to higher office, an event history model is used to predict when individual legislators will switch. Although this is a rare occurrence, and electoral risk seems to play little in the decision to switch parties, we do find that opportunities for advancement and the relative power of the two parties (measured by offices held) has a noticeable effect on the phenomenon.
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