An analysis of embryonic stem cell legislation at the state level
Scott, Whitney Blair
MetadataShow full item record
After federal legislation limited the sources of embryonic stem cells, some states opted to pass their own legislation. A few states encourage research, while numerous others found that the federal legislation was not stringent enough. In this thesis, I explore factors that make states more likely to pass legislation than others: do the religious composition of the state and the size of the scientific community help explain why states pass legislation? Using an ordered probit model I find that, these characteristics have explanatory value. Larger religious communities are found to decrease the likelihood of passing more restrictive legislation, whereas larger scientific communities have mixed effects. This study adds to the public choice, economics of religion, and morality policy literatures, and helps to define the roles of both organized and unorganized interests within a state and the changing role of morality policy in the face of modern science.