Publication Date

4-15-2017

Advisor(s)

Sarah Wiliarty

Major

College of Social Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

How many members a legislature has plays a significant role in determining its procedures and organization, but political scientists have paid very little attention to what determines legislature size. This thesis explains the sizes of national legislatures by examining the influence of several variables, including population, date of formation, and form of government. First, it identifies statistically significant relationships between different measures of legislature size and several of these variables. Second, it demonstrates the causal mechanisms behind these relationships using historical evidence from the United States House of Representatives and Britain’s House of Commons.

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