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Below results based on the criteria 'formal theory'
Total number of records returned: 4
Balancing Competing Demands: Position-Taking and Election Proximity in the European Parliament
Vander Wielen, Ryan
Parties value unity, yet, members of parliament face competing demands, giving them incentives to deviate from the party. For members of the European Parliament (MEPs), these competing demands are national party and European party group pressures. Here, we look at how MEPs respond to those competing demands. We examine ideological shifts within a single parliamentary term to assess how European Parliament (EP) election proximity affects party group cohesion. Our formal model of legislative behavior with multiple principals yields the following hypothesis: When EP elections are proximate, national party delegations shift toward national party positions, thus weakening EP party group cohesion. For our empirical test, we analyze roll call data from the fifth EP (1999-2004) using Bayesian item response models. We find significant movement among national party delegations as EP elections approach, which is consistent with our theoretical model, but surprising given the existing literature on EP elections as second-order contests.
Monotone Comparative Statics in Models of Politics: A Method for Simplifying Analysis and Enhancing Empirical Content
Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan
empirical implications of theoretical models
We elucidate a powerful yet simple method for deriving comparative statics conclusions for a wide variety of models: Monotone Comparative Statics (Milgrom and Shannon, 1994). Monotone comparative static methods allow researchers to extract robust, substantive empirical implications from formal models that can be tested using ordinal data and simple non-parametric tests. They also replace a diverse range of more technically diącult mathematics (facilitating richer, more realistic models), a large set of assumptions that are hard to understand or justify substantively (highlighting the political intuitions underlying a model's results), and a complicated set of methods for extracting implications from models. We present an accessible introduction to the central monotone comparative statics results and a series of practical tools for using these techniques in applied models (with reference to original sources, when relevant). Throughout we demonstrate the techniques with examples drawn from political science.
A Positive Theory of Bureaucratic Discretion as Agency Choice
Existing research on the positive theory of bureaucratic discretion views this phenomenon as a "supply-side" concept that elected officials determine without considering bureaucratic preferences altogether, or by merely treating it as being exogenous to the optimization problem confronting politicians. It has been well established by bureaucracy scholars that agencies have preferences concerning bureaucratic discretion and are proactive in trying to get these preferences met (e.g., Rourke 1984; Wilson 1989). In this essay, I set forth a "demand-side" theory of bureaucratic discretion where an administrative agency's preferences for this commodity under conditions of uncertainty is determined through the relationship between its utility and (a) bureaucratic discretion, and (b) policy (implementation) outcome uncertainty, separately. Moreover, I argue that the discretionary context confronting the agency will matter, and thus incorporate this into the theoretical model. Hypotheses concerning the discretionary context by which administrative agencies will view bureaucratic discretion are generated from this model. Finally, I propose a statistical test that could be employed to empirically test the theoretical predictions of the "demand-side" model of bureaucratic discretion set forth in this paper.
Indecision Theory: An Informational Model of Roll-Off
We address the so-called "roll-off" phenomenon: Selective abstention in multiple elections. We present a discuss a novel model of decision making by voters that explains this as a result of differences in quality and quantity of information that the voters have about each election. In doing so we use a spatial model that differs from the Euclidean one, and is more naturally applied to modeling differences in information.