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Below results based on the criteria 'policy'
Total number of records returned: 23
State and American Indian Negotiation of Gaming Compacts: An Event Count Analysis
There has been a proliferation of casino-style Indian gaming in the years since the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. Yet little is known about the factors that influence state and Indian nations’ decisions to enter into gaming compacts. In this paper we seek to achieve two objectives. First, we seek to understand the expansion of Indian-state gaming compacts by studying how characteristics of states and Indian nations, along with spatial and temporal diffusion, affect the number of compacts negotiated. Most importantly, we focus on Indian nation’s relationships with the states; their political influence with respect to the state and the contact they have with state government. Second, we introduce an empirical model new to the study of state politics by modeling the compacting process between Indian nations and states as an event count process. The event count model allows us to explain why some states have more Indian gaming than others and how the compacting process has evolved over time.
Estimating Party Policy Positions with Uncertainty Based on Manifesto Codings
Comparative Manifesto Project
Mapping party positions
Spatial models of party competition are central to modern political science. Before we can elaborate such models empirically, we need reliable and valid measurements of agents' positions on salient policy dimensions. The primary empirical times series of estimated party positions in many countries derives from the content analysis of party manifestos by the Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP). Despite widespread use of the CMP data, and despite the fact that estimates in these data arise from documents coded once, and once only, by a single human researcher, the level of error in the CMP estimates has never been estimated or even fully characterized. This greatly undermines the value of the CMP dataset as a scientific resource. It is in many ways remarkable that so much has been published in the best professional journals using data that almost certainly has substantial, but completely uncharacterized, error. We remedy this situation. We outline the process of generating CMP document codings and positional estimates. Error in this process arises, not only from the obvious source of coder unreliability, but also from fundamental variability in the stochastic process by which latent party positions are translated into observable manifesto texts. Using the quasi-sentence codings from the CMP project, we reproduce the error-generating process by simulating coder unreliability and bootstrapping analyses of coded quasi-sentences to reproduce both forms of error. Using our estimates of these errors, we suggest and demonstrate ways to correct otherwise biased inferences derived from statistical analyses of the CMP data.
Representative Bureaucracy and Harder Questions: A Response to Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard
Nielsen, Laura B.
Wolf, Patrick J.
In a recently published article, Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard (1999) reach the tantalizing conclusion that increases in the representation of minority teachers in the public school bureaucracy actually enhance the academic achievement of both minority and Anglo groups of students. However, diagnostic and statistical tests on their data suggest that their analysis may suffer from specification, selection, and categorization limitations. When corrections for these problems are introduced into the analysis, the results that are the basis for the Meier, Wrinkle and Polinard conclusions change significantly, thereby undermining our confidence in the validity of
When Mayors Matter: Estimating the Impact of Mayoral Partisanship on City Policy
Regression discontinuity design
urban fiscal policy
U.S. cities are limited in their ability to set policy. Can these constraints mute the impact of mayorsâ?? partisanship on policy outcomes? We hypothesize that mayoral discretion--and thus partisanshipâ??s influence--will be more pronounced in policy areas where there is the less shared authority between local, state, and federal governments. To test this hypothesis, we create a novel data set combining U.S. mayoral election returns from 1990 to 2006 with urban fiscal data. Using regression discontinuity design, we find that cities that elect a Democratic mayor spend less on public safety, a policy area where local discretion is high, than otherwise similar cities that elect a Republican or Independent. We find no differences on tax policy, social policy, and other areas that are characterized by significant overlapping authority. These results have important implications for political accountability: mayors may not be able to influence the full range of policies that are nominally local responsibilities.
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.
Policy, Personality, and Presidential Performance
and Presidential Performance
The importance of personality and performance assessments for candidate evaluations and choice has been well established, most prominently in the work on presidential prototypes by Kinder and colleagues, and the social cognitive model of vote choice by Rahn and colleagues. This paper takes a revisionist look at the effect of personality assessments for understanding presidential elections. Most of the experimental and survey data were collected in a relatively brief period, particularly between 1980 and 1984. Among the unique aspects of the 1980s was the impact of the distinctive personality of Ronald Reagan, sometimes called the "teflon president," because of the degree to which the public admired him as an individual, regardless of political events. His persona therefore might reasonably be assumed to have uniquely influenced the times and thus the models and results. We examine this question primarily by replicating the Rahn, et al. models using the NES surveys from 1984 through 1996, allowing us to evaluate the structure and performance of presidential prototypes and their role in candidate assessments over a longer period of time and greater variety of candidates and presidents.
Learning in Campaigns: A Policy Moderating Model of Individual Contributions to House Candidates
Mebane, Walter R.
generalized linear model
U.S. House of Representatives
We propose a policy moderating model of individual campaign contributions to House campaigns. Based on a model that implies moderating behavior by voters, we hypothesize that individuals use expectations about the Presidential election outcome when deciding whether to donate money to a House candidate. Using daily campaign contributions data drawn from the FEC Itemized Contributions files for 1984, we estimate a generalized linear model for count data with serially correlated errors. We expand on previous empirical applications of this type of model by comparing standard errors derived from a sandwich estimator to confidence intervals produced by a nonparametric bootstrap.
Representation and Salient Issues: Legislator Responsiveness to the Service Constituency
Bennett, Sherry L.
Smith, Renee M.
U.S. trade policy
ormal models of the supply of public policy and of information transmission between lobbyists and legislators imply that the preferences of both organized and informed, but unorganized, interests influence legislators' vote choices. Denzau and Munger (1986) refer to these citizens as a legislator's service constituency. In this paper, we provide argument and evidence to show that the concept of a service constituency is crucial to theoretical explanations and empirical investigations of a legislator's responsiveness to constituent demands on salient issues. We also provide theory and evidence to account for the process by which unorganized citizens become part of a service constituency. Our argument emphasizes the effects of interest group competition on information accessibility and opinion activation for diffuse, unorganized citizens. Our empirical evidence provides strong support for our hypotheses about opinion activation and the effects of the service constituency on legislative behavio
Models of Monetary Policy Decision-Making: Arthur Burns and the Federal Open Market Committee
Chappell, Jr., Henry W.
McGregor, Rob Roy
This paper investigates decision-making within the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve, focusing on the competing pressures of majority rule, consensus-building, and the power of the Chairman. To undertake this analysis, we have constructed a data set recording desired Federal funds rates for each member of the Committee over the 1970-1978 period. We empirically link individuals' policy preferences to adopted policies using generalized versions of the median voter model and alternative specifications. Our results confirm a persistent attraction of the median voter's ideal point; they also confirm a disproportionate influence of the Chairman in the policy process. The voting weight of the Chairman is estimated to be between 0.38 and 0.58 in preferred specifications. Results also suggest that district Federal Reserve Bank presidents have somewhat greater influence over adopted policies than Governors.
Rational Expectations Coordinating Voting in American Presidential and House Elections
Mebane, Walter R.
generalized extreme value model
Monte Carlo integration
I define a probabilistic model of individuals' presidential-year vote choices for President and for the House of Representatives in which there is a coordinating (Bayesian Nash) equilibrium among voters based on rational expectations each voter has about the election outcomes. I estimate the model using data from the six American National Election Study Pre-/Post-Election Surveys of years 1976--1996. The coordinating model passes a variety of tests, including a test against a majoritarian model in which there is rational ticket splitting but no coordination. The results give strong individual-level support to Alesina and Rosenthal's theory that voters balance institutions in order to moderate policy. The estimates describe vote choices that strongly emphasize the presidential candidates. I also find that a voter who says economic conditions have improved puts more weight on a discrepancy between the voter's ideal point and government policy with a Democratic President than on a discrepancy of the same size with a Republican President.
Representative Bureaucracy and Distributional Equity: Addressing the Hard Question
Wrinkle, Robert D.
Meier, Kenneth J.
Research on representative bureaucracy has failed to deal with whether or not representative bureaucracies produce minority gains at the expense of nonminorities. Using a pooled time series analysis of 350 school districts over six years, this study examines the relationship between representative bureaucracy and organizational outputs for minorities and nonminorities. Far from finding that representative bureaucracy produces minority gains at the expense of nonminorities, this study finds both minority and nonminority students perform better in the presence of a representative bureaucracy. This finding suggests an alternative hypothesis to guide research, that representative bureaucracies are more effective than their nonrepresentative counterparts.
Uncertainty and Ambivalence in the Ecology of Race
Alvarez, R. Michael
heteroskedastic ordered logit
Since Myrdal (1944), scholars have regarded American attitudes towards racial policy as a conflict between values, groups, and interests. Although Myrdal viewed the conflict as a state internal to individuals, it begins as aggregate conflict. This mix of ecologies---individual and aggregate---carries forth to the present. This paper takes the question of different ecologies for racial politics seriously, developing tools to compare conflict at individual and aggregate level. We demonstrate that individual racial policy choices stems principally from racial resentment, and that the variability of that choice indicates a state of uncertainty, not ambivalence or equivocation. We further demonstrate that racial resentment does not surface as a predictor of aggregate racial policy choice, even though individual choices about racial policies appear to be more strongly influenced by the level of political informedness.
Primary Election Systems and Policy Divergence
Gerber, Elisabeth R.
candidate nomination procedures
United States Congress
We examine how differences in the institutions that regulate candidate nomination procedures - specifically direct primary election laws -- affect elite control over candidate nominations and ultimately affect candidate policy divergence. We hypothesize that in more closed primary systems, control over candidate nominations by ideological extremists will translate into a higher likelihood that extreme candidates win in the general election. We hypothesize that in more open systems, participation by a wider spectrum of the electorate means that candidates must appeal to more moderate voters, leading to the election of more moderate candidates. Using pooled cross-section time-series regression analysis, we find that US Representatives from states with closed primaries take policy positions that are furthest from their districts' estimated median voter's ideal positions. Representatives from states with semi-closed primaries are the most moderate. We conclude that the opportunities for strategic behavior created by electoral institutions have important consequences for electoral outcomes.
Can Voting Reduce Welfare? Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector
Voter turnout is popularly cited as reflecting a polity's health. The ease with which electoral members influence policy can, however, constrain an economy's productive capacity. For example, while influential electorates might carefully monitor political agents, they might also "capture" them. In the latter case, electorates transfer producer surplus to consumers at the expense of social welfare - i.e., a "healthy" polity's economy rests at an inferior equilibrium. I develop evidence that the US telecommunications sector may have realized such an outcome. This evidence is remarkably difficult to dismiss as an artifact of endogeneity bias, and appears important for several audiences. For example, the normative regulation literature calls for constraints on producers' market power, while the institutions and commitment literature calls for checks on political agents' opportunism. Evidence that I develop here suggests that, unbound by similar constraints, electoral principals might effectively control their political agents while significantly retarding their economic agents' productive incentives.
Monetary Policy and Wage/Price Bargaining: Macro-Institutional Interactions in the Traded, Public, and Sheltered Sectors
central bank independence
Prepared for Hall, Peter and David Soskice, eds., _Varieties of Capitalism: The Chalenges Facing Contemporary Political Economies_ (forthcoming, title preliminary). This chapter considers the politico-economic management of unemployment and inflation in developed capitalist democracies, focusing on the institutional and structural features of labor and goods markets and the credibility and conservatism of the monetary-policy authority. It reviews the central-bank-independence (CBI) and coordinated-wage-/price-bargaining (CWB) literatures and then offers a synthesis and extension which emphasizes that the degrees of CBI and CWB interact, with each other and with the sectoral structure of the economy, to structure the incentives facing the politico-economic actors involved in monetary policy and wage/price bargaining. The empirical records of 21 OECD countries in the post-Bretton Woods era are then used to evaluate the emergent hypotheses. The conclusion addresses two questions of pressing intellectual and practical concern: the likely impact of and independent European central bank and the roots of the "collapse" of CWB.
Cuing and Coordination in American Elections
Mebane, Walter R.
I use evolutionary game models based on pure imitation to reexamine recent findings that strategic coordination characterizes the American electorate. Imitation means that voters who are dissatisfied with their strategy adopt the strategy of the first voter they encounter who is similar to them. In the replicator dynamics such imitation implies, everyone ultimately uses the coordinating strategy, but I study what happens over time spans that are relevant for voters. I consider three evolutionary models, including two that involve partisan cuing. Simulations using National Election Studies data from presidential years 1976-96 suggest that many voters use an unconditional strategy, usually a strategy of voting a straight ticket matching their party identification. I then estimate a choice model that incorporates an approximation to the evolutionary dynamics. The results support partisan cuing and confirm that most voters vote unconditionally. The estimates also support previous findings regarding policy moderation and institutional balancing.
Conflict, Information, and Lobbying Coalitions
Esterling, Kevin M.
This paper explains lobbying organizations' choice to join alliances on policy matters with respect to 1) the degree of the organization's access to external information sources, and 2) the amount of internal organizational conflict and deliberation. An informational view of lobbying suggests that the more informed an organizational actor is, the more likely it will gain access to governmental decision makers; and greater access to the government will decrease the utility of joining a cooperative lobbying effort. In addition, internal conflict in the definition of a policy position will limit an organization's ability to take any position on a policy issue, while successful internal deliberation will augment a lobbying organization's ability to find cooperation partners. Outcome and explanatory data are taken from an existing dataset housed at ICPSR. Nested logit maximum likelihood estimates for the trichotomous-choice cooperation model are presented and interpreted. Support is lent to both the internal conflict and the informational theories of cooperation in policy lobbying. In particular, the model results suggest that organizations predisposed to internal conflict find both non-policy lobbying and cooperative lobbying appealing, suggesting that these organizations only sometimes successfully deliberate over policy. And consistent with the information view of lobbying, greater access to information sharply decreases the utility of lobbying cooperatively.
Forecasts and Contingencies: From Methodology to Policy
Schrodt, Philip A.
A "folk criticism" in political science maintains that the discipline should confine its efforts to explanation and avoid venturing down the dark, dirty, and dangerous path to forecasting and prediction. I argue that not only is this position inconsistent with the experiences of other sciences, but in fact the questions involved in making robust and valid predictions invoke many core methodological issues in political analysis. Those issues include, among others, the question of the level of predictability in political behavior, the problem of case selection in small-N situations, and the various alternative models that could be used to formalize predictions. This essay focuses on the problem of forecasting in international politics, and concludes by noting some of the problems of institutional culture -- bureaucratic and academic -- that have inhibited greater use of systematic forecasting methods in foreign policy.
The Changing Economic Preferences of the American Public: 1976-1991
I show that the public indeed does have coherent preferences over macroeconomic tradeoffs, and these preferences have changed in ways consistent with not only economic theory but also with the changes which occurred in the American political system during the 1980s. In particular, most people learned something new about the state of the world in the late 1970s, and began to reject classical Keynesian explanations about economic reality. Individuals were becoming more sympathetic to the economic platform of the Republican party---i.e., they began to favour price stability. Moreover, the results support the notion that poor Americans do not hold government policy responsible for their personal economic plight (Hochschild 1981, Lane 1962).
Diffusion or Confusion? Modeling Policy Diffusion with Discrete Event History Data
No abstract provided.
Potential Ambiguities in a Directed Dyad Approach to State Policy Emulation
In this paper I discuss circumstances under which the dyadic model of policy diffusion can produce misleading estimates in favor of policy emulation. These circumstances arise in the context of state pain management policy, and correspond generally to policies that states are uniformly expanding. When this happens, dyadic models of policy diffusion conflate policy emulation and policy adoption: since early adopters are policy leaders, later adopters will appear to emulate them, even if they are merely stragglers acting on their own accord. I demonstrate the possibility of this ambiguity analytically and through Monte Carlo simulation. Both start with the assumption that the data are generated according to a standard, monadic model of policy adoption and then converted to a dyadic model, which can incorrectly produce evidence of emulation. I propose a simple modification of the dyadic emulation model --- conditioning on the opportunity to emulate --- and show that it is much less likely to produce inaccurate findings. I then return to the study of pain management policy and find substantial differences between the dyadic emulation model and the conditional emulation model.
Moving Mountains: Bayesian Forecasting As Policy Evaluation
Brandt, Patrick T.
Freeman, John R.
Bayesian vector autoregression
Many policy analysts fail to appreciate the dynamic, complex causal nature of political processes. We advocate a vector autoregression (VAR) based approach to policy analysis that accounts for various multivariate and dynamic elements in policy formulation and for both dynamic and specification uncertainty of parameters. The model we present is based on recent developments in Bayesian VAR modeling and forecasting. We present an example based on work in Goldstein et al. (2001) that illustrates how a full accounting of the dynamics and uncertainty in multivariate data can lead to more precise and instructive results about international mediation in Middle Eastern conflict.
The Essential Role of Pair Matching in Cluster-Randomized Experiments, with Application to the Mexican Universal Health Insurance Evaluation
community intervention trials
A basic feature of many field experiments is that investigators are only able to randomize clusters of individuals -- such as households, communities, firms, medical practices, schools, or classrooms -- even when the individual is the unit of interest. To recoup some of the resulting efficiency loss, many studies pair similar clusters and randomize treatment within pairs. Other studies (including almost all published political science field experiments) avoid pairing, in part because some prominent methodological articles claim to have identified serious problems with this 'matched-pair cluster-randomized' design. We prove that all such claims about problems with this design are unfounded. We then show that the estimator for matched-pair designs favored in the literature is appropriate only in situations where matching is not needed. To address this problem without modeling assumptions, we generalize Neyman's (1923) approach and propose a simple new estimator with much improved statistical properties. We also introduce methods to cope with individual-level noncompliance, which most existing approaches incorrectly assume away. We show that from the perspective of, among other things, bias, efficiency, or power, pairing should be used in cluster-randomized experiments whenever feasible; failing to do so is equivalent to discarding a considerable fraction of one's data. We develop these techniques in the context of a randomized evaluation we are conducting of the Mexican Universal Health Insurance Program.