Published Articles

  • Michael Kellermann. 2014. "Self-selection and opposition to gay rights among military career-seekers." Politics, Groups, and Identities, forthcoming.

    Opposition to gay rights among serving military personnel was one of the leading justifications for the US military's longstanding ban on open service by gay men and lesbians. This study demonstrates that this opposition derives in large part from the self-selection of individuals into military careers. Using data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshman Survey, it shows a strong and increasing divergence of opinions on gay rights between students seeking military careers and their civilian counterparts, an effect that is large relative to subsequent socialization in the military. This civil–military gap is largely due to the overrepresentation of men and of political conservatives among those intending to enter the military, and the increasing importance of ideology in predicting opinions about gay rights issues. Once demographic and ideological characteristics are taken into account, the effect of seeking a military career on opinions regarding gay rights is small.

  • Michael Kellermann. 2013. "Sponsoring Early Day Motions in the British House of Commons as a Response to Electoral Vulnerability." Political Science Research and Methods 1 (2): 263-280.

    While the importance of individual candidates in British elections has long been minimized, this article argues that early day motions (EDMs)—formal, non-binding expressions of opinion—allow backbench MPs to cultivate reputations with constituents. First, this article demonstrates that greater sponsorship of EDMs is associated with better electoral outcomes, which suggests that EDMs could help vulnerable MPs improve their electoral prospects. Secondly, a Bayesian hierarchical negative binomial hurdle model, which accounts for specific features of EDM sponsorship and is novel in political science, shows that members from electorally competitive constituencies are more likely to introduce EDMs, and introduce them more often, than members from less competitive constituencies. Moreover, this relationship has increased over the past 20 years.

  • Michael Kellermann. 2012. ``Estimating ideal points in the British House of Commons.'' American Journal of Political Science, 56(3): 757-771.

    This article develops a new method for estimating the ideological preferences of members of the British House of Commons. Existing methods produce implausible results due to high levels of party cohesion and strategic voting on the part of opposition parties. To circumvent these problems, this article estimates MP preferences using Early Day Motions (EDMs) as an alternative to roll-call votes. The Bayesian ideal point model for the decision to sign an EDM takes into account both policy preferences and signing costs. The estimates obtained have greater face validity than previous attempts to measure preferences in the House of Commons, recovering the expected order of parties and of members within parties. The estimates successfully predict voting behavior in the House of Commons. As with other Bayesian ideal point methods, this approach produces natural uncertainty estimates and allows for easy calculation of quantities of interest such as member ranks.

  • Michael Kellermann and Kenneth A. Shepsle. 2009. ``Congressional Careers, Committee Assignments, and Seniority Randomization in the US House of Representatives". Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 4(2): 87--101.

    This paper estimates the effects of initial committee seniority on the career outcomes of Democratic members of the House of Representatives from 1949 to 2006. When more than one freshman representative is assigned to a committee, positions in the seniority queue are established by lottery. This ensures that queue positions are uncorrelated in expectation with other legislator characteristics within these groups. This natural experiment allows us to estimate the causal effect of seniority on a variety of outcomes. Lower ranked committee members are less likely to serve as subcommittee chairs on their initial committee, are more likely to transfer to other committees, and have fewer sponsored bills passed in the jurisdiction of their initial committee. On the other hand, there is little evidence that the seniority randomization has a net effect on reelection, terms of service in the House, or the total number of sponsored bills passed.

  • Working Papers

    The following papers are in various stages of completion:

    Dissertation Abstract

    My dissertation focused on political parties in federal political systems. For more details, click here.