Policy Influence and Participation in the European Parliament
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXII:233-52

How does a legislature's influence over policy outputs affect its members' behavior? This paper examines this question, a question that has been neglected in the legislative literature. Using an unusual natural experiment in the European Parliament (EP), I investigate whether greater policy influence leads legislators to participate more in parliamentary votes. In addition to the impact of other variables-including the timing of votes, leadership cues, and the requirement that an absolute majority of members vote at certain stages-EP members are stimulated to participate more in votes on legislation where the EP's influence is greater. The implications of this result for legislative theory, and for our understanding of the EP, are discussed in the conclusion.