Visualization of Reading Level Frequency by Congressional Bill Stage

April 15, 2012

(This article was first published on Bommarito Consulting, LLC » r, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

  Here’s a fun example of how you might use my data on Congressional bill length and complexity.  Imagine you want to understand the empirical distribution of Flesch-Kincaid reading level for Congressional bills and how this distribution is related to bill stage.  A first step might be to visualize this relationship.

  Based on this visualization, you might infer that engrossed bills tend to have less right-skew and have a lower mean reading level.  The story behind this might be that Senators and Representatives are less likely to accept legislation they do not understand.  To test this, you might run a simple KS test to see if the introduced bill reading levels are greater than engrossed bill reading levels.

> ks.test(introduced, engrossed, alternative="less")

	Two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test

data:  introduced and engrossed
D^- = 0.094, p-value = 0.006299
alternative hypothesis: the CDF of x lies below that of y

Sample source below.

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