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The Diversity ParadoxParties, Legislatures, and the Organizational Foundations of Representation in America$
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Kristin Kanthak and George Krause

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199891726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891726.001.0001

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Can Organizational Mechanisms Solve Minority Group Coordination Problems? Logic, Lessons, and Evidence from Legislative Caucuses in the American States

Can Organizational Mechanisms Solve Minority Group Coordination Problems? Logic, Lessons, and Evidence from Legislative Caucuses in the American States

Chapter:
(p.122) 6 Can Organizational Mechanisms Solve Minority Group Coordination Problems? Logic, Lessons, and Evidence from Legislative Caucuses in the American States
Source:
The Diversity Paradox
Author(s):

Kristin Kanthak

George A. Krause

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891726.003.0006

This chapter explores the use of legislative member organizations, or caucuses, as catalysts for the type of coordination that was shown in the previous chapter to be beneficial for minority group members. The chapter posits the conditional coordination hypothesis, whereby minority groups receive the greatest benefits of coordination when their group size is neither too large nor too small. Drawing on a negative binomial regression estimation procedure, this chapter finds evidence that the presence of women’s caucuses in U.S. state legislatures are associated with a greater number of women serving as committee chairs. Specifically, having a formal women’s caucus unconditionally results in a greater number of committee chairs in lower chambers. In upper chambers, the results are conditioned on the group size: In keeping with the conditional coordination hypothesis, groups of moderate size receive the greatest benefit from having women’s caucuses, both of a formal and an informal nature.

Keywords:   Coordination problems, legislative member organization, women’s caucuses, U.S. state legislatures, committee chairs, case studies, negative binomial regression

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