UNDERSTANDING THE COST OF ENACTING LEGISLATION: LEGISLATIVE EFFICIENCY AND THE IMPACT OF SESSION LENGTH
Cook, Matthew William
In this thesis, I try to find a state legislature's most efficient point between the length of its legislative session and its price per bill. Unlike previous studies of legislative productivity and efficiency, I attempt to account for the increased cost that a professional legislature must incur in order to see the gains in productivity that many other scholars have studied. I found that increasing the number of legislative working days improved the efficiency of the legislature by dropping the price per bill. However, around nine months these benefits start to decrease making nine months the most efficient point. I hypothesize that the fixed costs associated with running a legislature are probably similar for legislatures around the country, and so it takes time to fully incorporate these costs into an output. This is why increasing the length of the legislature leads to savings per bill. Thus, state legislatures would find savings if they would increase their legislative working days up to about nine months or drop their legislative days back to about nine months.
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