Home (Page) Style: Determinates of the Quality of the House Members' Web Sites
Kevin Esterling (University of California, Riverside, USA), David M.J. Lazer (Harvard University, USA) and Michael A. Neblo (Ohio State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008
To date, research on e-government has devoted relatively little attention to how legislators use the Internet to enhance the representative function. In this paper, we seek to explain statistically the variation in the quality of Web sites among members of the US Congress. The dependent variable for the preliminary analysis is an ordered categorical rating of the Quality of each member’s Web site on a 5-point grading scale ranging from A to F. The model specification is derived from the political science literature on Congress, including measures of electoral situation, the local situation, and the intra-institutional situation. The cross sectional findings suggest that shorter tenure and closer electoral margin both independently contribute to successful innovation; members appear to adopt new technologies when constituents are connected to the Internet; and members representing districts of lower socio-economic status tend to have better quality Web sites.