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date: 29 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the use of experiments to study legislative behavior. It begins by clarifying what the word experiment means and considers critical aspects of variation in experimental approaches. It then looks at two approaches employed by social scientists—observational research and experimental research—and the differences between them. It also examines experimental designs, focusing on the distinction between random assignment and random sampling. The chapter reviews three applications of experiments in legislatures: legislative voting; parliamentary coalitions; and responsiveness and legislators as subjects. Finally, it addresses some of the challenges and limitations in the experimental study of legislatures and highlights future possibilities.

Keywords: experiments, legislative behavior, observational research, experimental research, experimental designs, legislatures, legislative voting, parliamentary coalitions, responsiveness, legislators

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