Descriptive Representation of Native American Legislators in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives

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CONFERENCE: Seaver College Research And Scholarly Achievement Symposium

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Norte, Jacob
State Politics; Legislative Politics; Native American Politics; Representation; Quantitative Methods; American Politics; Models and Methods
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In the theoretical literature on representation, scholars disagree if policy advocates need to belong to the social groups that they are advocating for. Although literature exists about this question for women, Latino and African Americans, no one has investigated the descriptive representation of Native Americans. This paper tests the hypothesis of descriptive representation for one of thee legislatures with the most Native American members : The Oklahoma State House of Representatives. Regression analysis of a data set I complied myself suggests that being Native American produces a statistically significant effect after controlling for other political and demographic characteristics. Native American identity seems to produce similar results to African-American and Latino data.