Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
The Ohio State University
acs.1@osu.edu
Google Scholar profile
CV

2140 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus OH, 43210

Research Interests: American Politics; Political Institutions; Bureaucracy; Regulation

Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. “Influence by Intimidation: Evidence from Business Lobbying and the Regulatory Process”, with Cary
    Coglianese. Forthcoming, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization
  2. “Presidential Directives in a Resistant Bureaucracy,” Journal of Public Policy, 2021
  3. “Ideal Point Estimation in Political Hierarchies: A Framework and an Application to the U.S. Executive Branch”, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, 2020
  4. “Congress and Administrative Policymaking: Identifying Congressional Veto Power”, American Journal of Political Science, 2019
  5. “Policing the Administrative State,” Journal of Politics, 2018
  6. “Which Statute to Implement? Strategic Timing by Regulatory Agencies,” Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 2016
  7. “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. “Influence-seeking in the Federal Bureaucracy: Do Groups Lobby or Monitor Policymakers?” (Conditionally accepted, Quarterly Journal of Political Science)
      Influence-seeking by outside groups is widespread in the federal bureaucracy, as evidenced by public expenditure data. But less is known about the strategies that underlie these expenditures. The literature on influence-seeking points to two possibilities. Groups can lobby policymakers to persuade them to take a specific action, or groups can monitor policymakers, as in “fire alarm” oversight, and report any unwanted action to Congress and other interested overseers. I exploit the fact that these two strategies have different implications for which policymakers will be targeted. Groups have an incentive to lobby their allies and (persuadable) would-be allies, and an incentive to monitor their adversaries. Using data on influence-seeking expenditures, I find that conservative groups disproportionately target their adversaries, which is consistent with monitoring, and that liberal groups disproportionately target their allies, which is con- sistent with lobbying. I discuss the implications for our understanding of democratic accountability in bureaucratic policymaking.
  2. “The Bilateral Presidency: Bureaucratic Constraints on Presidential Policymaking” (Revise and resubmit, Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy)
      How much power do presidents have to control the bureaucracy? I approach this longstanding question by studying variation in the types of directives that presidents issue. Key variation occurs in how formal, or legally enforceable, directives are, and whether directives predate bureaucratic efforts to implement the relevant policy. In a model where directives can prompt but not necessarily coerce bureaucrats to enact policies, I show that weaker presidents have stronger preferences over the formality and timing of directives. I explore this implication using a new dataset of regulations that were directed by the president. Consistent with a weaker presidency, major regulations are, paradoxically, more likely to come from directives that are informal and thus not legally binding, such as unpublished memorandums, or from directives that are strategically issued after efforts to implement the relevant policy were underway. The findings highlight underappreciated constraints on the so-called unilateral presidency.
  3. “Congress’s Declining Influence over Regulatory Policymaking: Evidence from Regulatory Reversals After Presidential Transitions” (under review)
      How much influence does Congress have over the regulatory process? I answer this question by exploiting the quasi-exogenous shocks of political transitions to take stock of Congress’s influence. Consider the 2017 presidential transition, which was followed by an unprecedented use of Congressional Review Act (CRA) procedures to block pending regulations. Some may infer from this a resurgence in congressional influence. But the use of the CRA raises the question why Congress did not block these regulations prior to the transition, as the preceding 114th Congress was under Republican control. In this paper, I take a closer look at the development of the blocked regulations during the 114th and document how Congress tried and failed to influence their trajectory. I conclude with a discussion of Congress’s declining influence over the regulatory process, which has its roots in a dysfunctional appropriations process and emerging intraparty divisions.

 

Teaching

  1. Bureaucracy and Public Policy (PS 4115, undergrad)
  2. Political Games: Rational Choice Theory and the Study of Politics (PS 3500, undergrad)
  3. Introduction to American Politics (PS 1100, undergrad)
  4. Introduction to the Policy Process (PS 3115, undergrad)
  5. Political Institutions (PS 7905, grad)