What are the consequences of political democratization? Do democratic transitions generate new patterns of political recruitment, institutional behavior, and policy formation? If so, under what conditions, and with what consequences for the process of democratization itself? The proposed research attempts to answer these questions on the basis of an intra-country comparison of politics in the Mexican states. My central hypothesis is that the growth of electoral competition generates more inclusive and participatory patterns of recruitment and policymaking, and thus engenders public policies designed to appeal to the electorate. I will use statistical comparisons of political recruitment, legislative strength, and policy outputs across all of the Mexican states combined with in-depth analyses of politics in the states of Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato. I expect to find that states with highly competitive elections will have more politicians with state-level (rather than national-level) interests, stronger legislative bodies, and policy outputs that better reflect the concerns of the electorate than states with low levels of electoral competition.