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Anticipatory Effect

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Legislative theory suggests that anticipatory effects of term limits would first affect the types of individuals elected to office and only later influence the legislature itself. Our results, based on a 1995 survey of nearly 3000 state legislators nationwide, indicate otherwise. There are no systematic differences between term limit and non-term limit states in the composition of the legislature (e.g., professional backgrounds). Yet with respect to legislative behavior, term limits decrease the time legislators devote to securing pork, and heighten the priority they place on the needs of the state and on the demands of conscience relative to district interests. At the same time, with respect to the legislature as an institution, term limits

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