Chapter

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

Kristin Kanthak and George A. Krause

in The Diversity Paradox

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933433 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891726.003.0006
Can Organizational Mechanisms Solve Minority Group Coordination Problems? Logic, Lessons, and Evidence from Legislative Caucuses in the American States

Show Summary Details

Preview

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

Chapter.  16121 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.