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Human Trafficking Legislation Across the States: The Determinants of Comprehensiveness

Human Trafficking Legislation Across the States: The Determinants of Comprehensiveness,Vanessa Bouche,Dana Wittmer

Human Trafficking Legislation Across the States: The Determinants of Comprehensiveness  
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To date, 40 U.S. states have passed human trafficking legislation; however, the comprehensiveness and stringency of the legislation significantly varies from state to state, and there remains significant ambiguity as to why this is the case. This study examines a number of factors that may impact the comprehensiveness of human trafficking legislation at the state level, focusing on the gender makeup of the legislature, the partisan makeup of the legislature, and policy diffusion based on geographic proximity. To test these hypotheses, we develop a comprehensive data set, including a uniquely designed dependent variable measuring legislative comprehensiveness for each state. We find evidence that bi-partisanship, increased numbers of female legislators, and geographic diffusion all positively impact legislative comprehensiveness--findings that will assist activists as they continue to develop a strategic plan for passing comprehensive human trafficking legislation in all 50 states.
Published in 2009.
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