Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presented at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29-31, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 Vanessa Bouche & Dana Wittmer


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.

[The "Download" document (upper right) is a pdf file of the paper; the "Additional file" (below" is a PowerPoint (.ppt) file of the presentation slides.]

Bouche--Presentation.ppt (285 kB)
PowerPoint presentation (15 slides)