Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
The Ohio State University

2140 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus OH, 43210

Research Interests: American Politics; Political Institutions; Bureaucracy



Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. “Ideal Point Estimation in Political Hierarchies: A Framework and an Application to the U.S. Executive Branch (Forthcoming, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization)
  2. “Congress and Administrative Policymaking: Identifying Congressional Veto Power” (Forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science )
  3. “Policing the Administrative State.” Journal of Politics, 2018
  4. “Which Statute to Implement? Strategic Timing by Regulatory Agencies” Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 2016
  5. “Does White House Regulatory Review Produce a Chilling Effect and ‘OIRA Avoidance’ in the Agencies?” Presidential Studies Quarterly, 2013 (with Charles Cameron)

Manuscripts (available on request)

  1. “Presidential Power in a Fragmented Bureaucracy: Directives, Removal Threats and the Allocation of Decision-making Authority” (Presented at SPSA 2018)

      Abstract: Presidential directives are typically assumed to be faithfully implemented by subordinate agents, and only checked by external actors, like the courts and Congress. But the internal constraints that shape presidential policymaking can also be substantial. I study a model where a president can induce compliance with a directive by removing some subordinate agents (the appointees) but not others (the careerists), and where the relative contribution of each agent to the directive’s success is unobservable. The model suggests that directives and removal threats can improve compliance with presidential priorities, though not entirely, forcing presidents to make difficult decisions: when to issue a directive, how ambitious to make it, and which agencies to target. I use the model to analyze two prominent directives embedded in Clinton’s regulatory planning order, E.O. 12866, showing why they were issued to different agencies, despite belonging to the same order, and why compliance has been uneven.
  2. “Influence through Intimidation: Evidence from Business Lobbying and the Regulatory Process” (with Cary Coglianese)

      Abstract: How much influence do business interests have in the regulatory process and through what mechanism do they exert influence? We introduce a model where regulators make proposals under the threat that a firm will oppose the regulation and pull a political “fire alarm.” Regulators are responsive to this threat, especially when they observe prior lobbying by the firm, which shapes their expectations about the threat’s credibility. Empirically, we find that an increase in business lobbying at an agency is associated with more risk-averse policymaking in subsequent years, where fewer regulatory proposals are initiated, and those that are have a smaller upfront cost to develop. Furthermore, we find that when business does oppose a regulatory proposal, the regulator is more likely to withdraw the proposal if the opponents have been actively lobbying in prior years. Overall, we find the scope of business influence in the regulatory process to be substantial, both in chilling the production of proposals and shaping regulator responsiveness to oppositional interests.

Works in Progress

  1. Who has proposal power? Placing presidential directives in the sequence of administrative policymaking
  2. Lobbying policy experts (with Ryan Dawe)

      We review the theoretical literature on lobbying, most of which focuses on what groups achieve by targeting legislatures (the generalists), and consider the incentives groups have to lobby regulators (the presumptive policy experts). We pay particular attention to how theoretical predictions hinge on whether information provided by lobbyists is verifiable and the practical settings in which this assumption might hold.



  1. Bureaucracy and Public Policy (PS 4115, undergrad)
  2. Introduction to American Politics (PS 1100, undergrad)
  3. Introduction to the Policy Process (PS 3115, undergrad)
  4. Political Institutions (PS 7905, PhD)