Meserve, Stephen A., and Pemstein, Daniel, and Bernhard, William T. (2007) Political Ambition and Legislative Behavior in the European Parliament. University of Illinois EUC Working Paper, Volume 7, No. 1, 2007. [Working Paper]
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) typically follow one of two career paths, either advancing within the European Parliament itself or returning to higher office in their home states. We argue that these different ambitions condition legislative behavior. Specifically, MEPs seeking domestic careers defect from group-leadership votes more frequently and oppose legislation that expands the purview of supranational institutions. We show how individual, domestic-party, and national level variables shape the careers available to MEPs and, in turn, their voting choices. To test the argument, we analyze MEPs' roll-call voting behavior in the 5th session of the EP (1999-2004) using a random effects model that captures idiosyncrasies in voting behavior across both individual MEPs and specific roll-call votes.
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