Nativity, Mobility, and State Legislators

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Many studies have documented the background characteristics of state legislators. It has been said with some certainty that state legislators reflect their constituents in certain "birthright" characteristics such as race, religion, and residence yet differ from them relative to other ascriptive characteristics such as education, occupation, and income (for example, see Keefe and Ogul 1989, 115-22). This phenomenon has led to a characterization of state legislators as "local boys made good" -- a reference to the fact that most are well-to-do males who are natives and longtime residents of their districts (Dye 1981, 125).

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