Keith Krehbiel

Keith Krehbiel
Stanford University | SU · Graduate School of Business

PhD University of Rochester

About

98
Publications
13,417
Reads
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6,184
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
July 1986 - present
Stanford University
Description
  • Edward B. Rust Professor of Political Science
July 1983 - July 1986
California Institute of Technology
Description
  • Assistant Professor
Education
August 1979 - June 1983
University of Rochester
Field of study
  • Political Science
August 1977 - January 1979
University of Kansas
Field of study
  • Political Science
August 1973 - May 1977
University of Kansas
Field of study
  • Education

Publications

Publications (98)
Article
Motivated by polar extremes of monopartisanship and nonpartisanship in existing literature on parties in legislatures, we introduce and analyze a more moderate theory of competitive partisan lawmaking. The distinguishing feature of competitive partisanship is that the minority party, although disadvantaged, has some guaranteed opportunities to infu...
Article
What fundamental forces account for procedural change in majoritarian voting institutions? I address this question by defining majoritarianism as a variable with two attributes: a numeric component that sets a threshold of assent among decision-makers, and a contextual component that defines the objects and stages of choice to which a given majorit...
Article
Four pure types of legislative organization are characterized as data generating processes for commonly used measures of preferences or, in the spatial vernacular, ideal points. The types of legislative organization are differentiated by their partisan versus nonpartisan nature of agenda formation, and by whether the amendment process is open or cl...
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Credible tests of hypotheses about power require credible measures of power. Roll rates purport to measure the relative power of the parties in legislatures. This article develops and employs a baseline model to assess roll rates. Although on the surface roll rates have some intuitively satisfying properties, beneath the surface they have several p...
Article
Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking was conceived as an instance of normal science within a nascent but nebulous paradigm. In the two decades following publication of the book, three disciplinary changes are noteworthy. First, the paradigm in which much political science is conducted has become more clearly identifiable. Second, more schol...
Article
Many institutions—including American federal bureaucracies and legislatures world-wide—are characterized by one set of actors who possess the right to determine which policies will be enacted and an opposing set of actors who possess the right to delay the enactment of those policies. However, this interaction is not well understood. We provide a m...
Article
Fixed statutes and regulations often have variable consequences over time. If left unattended, such drift can severely erode the performance of government as an institution of representation. To better understand the mechanics of policy-making in a changing world, we develop a positive theory that captures political drift in a dynamic separation-of...
Article
Motivated by polar extremes of monopartisanship and nonpartisanship in existing literature on parties in legislatures, we introduce and analyze a more moderate theory of competitive partisan lawmaking. The distinguishing feature of competitive partisanship is that the minority party, although disadvantaged, has some guaranteed opportunities to infl...
Article
We show that without a few peculiar modeling choices that are not justified by the core assumptions of the theory, selectorate theory neither unambiguously predicts the democratic peace nor that leaders of more inclusive regimes will rely upon the provision of public goods to remain in office. We illustrate these claims using relatively simple mode...
Article
Fixed statutes and regulations often have variable consequences over time. If left unattended, such drift can severely erode the performance of government as an institution of representation. To better understand the mechanics of policy-making in a changing world, we develop a positive theory that captures political drift in a dynamic, separation-o...
Article
participants of COWBELL, and seminar audiences at Vanderbilt, Princeton, Minnesota, and Texas A&M for helpful comments and advice.
Article
We explore the foundations of the legislative party cartel, as theorized by Cox and McCubbins (1993, 2005, 2007), to determine how centrist House members – majority-party moderates who suffer net policy losses from the majority leadership's use of negative agenda control – are kept from defecting from the cartel arrangement. We accomplish two thing...
Book
In this controversial book, Keith Krehbiel investigates and casts doubt upon a view of Congress held by many academics, journalists, and members of the lay public: that Congress is organized primarily to facilitate logrolling or “gains from trade” between legislators. The author puts forward an alternative “informational” theory that, unlike previo...
Article
We argue that congressional scholarship would benefit from an aggressive agenda to incorporate legislative effectiveness more fully into theoretical and empirical examinations of Congress. To facilitate this effort, we advance hypotheses from a foundational theory of lawmaking effectiveness that arises from members' innate abilities, cultivated ski...
Article
We develop a method for cardinally ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives on their abilities to advance bills through the legislative process. We apply our method to data drawn from the 97 th -109 th Congresses, and generate Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for all legislators who served in the House during this time period. We...
Article
A three-stage model isolates conditions under which an executive appointment to a collective choice body, such as a court or a regulatory agency, has an immediate bearing on policy. The model strikes a balance between previous formal models that predict either excessive gridlock or excessive policy responsiveness as a consequence of the politics of...
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I develop a formal model of bureaucratic policymaking in which a legislature delegates authority to a bureaucratic agency that is subject to ex post review by an executive with diverse preferences. Equilibrium results identify conditions under which executive clearance of agency rulemaking can be pareto optimal for both branches of government, in c...
Article
Collective choice bodies throughout the world use a diverse array of codified rules that determine who may exercise procedural rights, and in what order. This paper analyzes several two-stage decision-making models, focusing on one in which the first-moving actor has a unique, unilateral, procedural right to enforce the status quo, i.e., to exercis...
Chapter
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Tests of formal models of legislative politics have become increasingly common, and have tended to draw confident and positive inferences about focal theories. This is not a particularly satisfactory development, however, inasmuch as the supposedly supported theories are quite different from one another, and the tests that generate the support tend...
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This article examines party polarization in Congress. It finds that almost the entire growth in party polarization since the early 1970s can be explained by the increased frequency of and polarization on procedural votes in the both the House and the Senate. This finding answers several questions about party polarization, but asks one new questions...
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Theories of lawmaking generate equilibrium predictions about the set of acceptable policy outcomes. Tests of theoretical predictions often use independently estimated ideal points based on roll call votes to estimate what appear to be theoretically relevant quantities. This paper demonstrates that such measures are invalid because of the endogeneit...
Article
On grounds of inclusion of undesirable votes (type I errors) and exclusion of desirable votes (type II errors), we question the convention of selecting only finalpassage votes for roll call analysis. We propose an alternative selection method based on the estimated salience and strategic significance of roll calls and argue that this method reduces...
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This article discusses pivots and provides an overview of pivot theories. It also develops and illustrates a new form of comparative institutional analysis, which would serve as a means for discriminating between such theories. This article shows that pivot theories are rather flexible, and can be powerful tools of contemporary political economy.
Article
Political parties are active when citizens choose among candidates in elections and when winning candidates choose among policy alternatives in government . But the inextricably linked institutions, incentives, and behavior that determine these multistage choices are substantively complex and analytically unwieldy, particularly if modeled explicitl...
Article
This paper calculates indices of central bank autonomy (CBA) for 163 central banks as of end-2003, and comparable indices for a subgroup of 68 central banks as of the end of the 1980s. The results confirm strong improvements in both economic and political CBA over the past couple of decades, although more progress is needed to boost political auton...
Article
The minority party is rarely featured in empirical research on parties in legislatures, and recent theories of parties in legislatures are rarely neutral and balanced in their treatment of the two parties. This paper makes a case for redressing this imbalance. We identify four characteristics of bipartisanship and evaluate their descriptive merits...
Article
Political parties are active when citizens choose among candidates in elections, and when winning candidates choose among policy alternatives in government. But the inextricably linked institutions, incentives, and behavior that determine these multistage choices are substantively complex and analytically unwieldy, particularly if modeled explicitl...
Article
Full-text available
I analyze strategic appointments from a hybrid theoretical per-spective that combines noncooperative game theory with Markov chains. The games highlight the multistage, multi-actor, agenda-setting features in the politics of appointments. The chains— derived from a Markov model in which the game is embedded in the form of a transition matrix—provid...
Article
With an emphasis on the U.S. Congress, this essay addresses political economy approaches to the study of legislative organization. Simple models provide a foundation for more sophisticated studies of one of two problems: how coalitions of intense minorities pass policies that reflect gains from trade (efficiency in distributive policies) and how th...
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Groseclose and Snyder's revised method (2003) for assessing relative party influence deserves high praise for its creativity and explicitness. Two limitations should also be noted, however. First, the method seems likely to overstate majority-party influence. Second, even if taken at face value, the finding of asymmetric party influence is weak whe...
Article
A framework is introduced for evaluating static micro-analytic theories in dynamic macro-political settings. Within the framework, two theories of lawmaking are compared. Analytically, the predictions of the theories are remarkably similar- almost to the point of being observationally equivalent. However, analysis focusing on critical, theory-speci...
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Motivated by the U.S. Congress's motion to recommit with instructions to report forthwith, we analyze a simple spatial model to clarify the relationship between early-stage agenda-setting rights of a committee or the majority party, a late-stage minimum parliamentary right of the minority party or a noncommittee member, and the distribution of powe...
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The extent to which representatives "represent" the preferences of their district in roll call voting is fundamental to the endeavor of understanding the nature of electoral institutions. Although a great deal of work is devoted to this problem, previous work suffers from both an inability to measure sub-constituencies of the type identified by Fen...
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We provide a definition of institutionalism and a schematic account that distinguishes between institutional theories (in which institutions are exogenous) and theories of institutions (in which some, but necessarily not all, institutions are endogenous). Our primary argument is that institutionalism in the contemporary context is better characteri...
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Krishna and Morgan (2001a) propose "amendments" to two of Gilligan and Krehbiel's (1987, 1988) theoretical studies of legislative signaling. The new results for homogeneous committees do not significantly change the empirical expectations of prior works, but the results for heterogeneous committees contradict earlier claims. With primary attention...
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Synder and Groseclose (2000) develop and apply an innovative method for detecting and estimating the frequency and magnitude of party influence in congressional roll call voting. This paper presents a framework for assessing to coefficient that the authors interpret as "party influence." The analysis reveals that, and shows why, the coefficient man...
Article
Vote-based measures of partisanship have had a huge impact on the recieved wisdom about parties in the U.S. Congress. This article employs a cutpoint model to analyze how five such measures respond to changes in preference distributions and to different forms of behavior: party-based discipline and nonpartisan or undisciplined behavior. Three sets...
Article
Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the last decades have led to legislative gridlock. Not so, argues Keith Krehbiel, who advances the provocative theory that divided government actually has little effect on legislative productivity. Gridlock is in fact the order of the day, occurring even when the same par...
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Congression scholars regularly idenify Speaker Joseph G. Cannon as the personification of centralized authority and partisan strength in the United States Congress. Portraits of Cannon as a tyrant, however, are almost always based on anecdotal evidence and journalistic accounts. This paper assesses the conventional wisdom on Cannonism by systematic...
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Annual changes in domestic discretionary spending are analyzed to test predictions from three distinct types of theories of U.S. policy-making: (1) preference-driven, or nonpartisan, theories such as the recently developed pivotal politics theory or the better-known median voter theory, (2) theories of majority-party strength within Congress, which...
Article
With increasing regularity, managers must address nonmarket as well as market problems. A common U.S. manifestation of this often-unwelcome reality is the abrupt emergence of a “Washington problem,” such as a piece of hostile legislation gathering momentum in the Congress. Although most business leaders today realize that doing nothing is rarely a...
Article
While much empirical research has been devoted to the study of "killer amendments" in recent years, little work has explicitly examined the theoretical foundations of the phenomenon. We fill this gap in the literature by generating a theorem, which lays out the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of a killer amendment. We find tha...
Article
The origin of this pair of notes is a study that was not party centered but rather noted that a null hypothesis of no majority party effect could not be refuted. By changing the dependent and/or independent variables of the original study, however, Binder, Lawrence, and Maltzman (1999) find evidence of such an effect. This comment accepts their fin...
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This paper identifies four paradoxes of parties. These paradoxes illustrate not only substantive problems in their own right but also diverse ways that formal models can help to define and address problems in legislative research. Models are shown to clarify key concepts (such as majority party strength), to sharpen the definition of important prob...
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This study inspects specialization in legislatures by moving from a relatively macro level of analysis of committee-floor interaction to a relatively microlevel study of individual decision making within committee. This approach also addresses a common shortcoming in studies of specialization within committees: imperfect measurement. Signaling-theo...
Article
Three classes of theories--partisan, informational, and distributive--yield a diverse set of predictions about legislative organization and legislative outcomes. A specific area in which they are amenable to empirical tests is the House of Representatives' use of rules governing the amendment process. Dion and Huber (1996) propose and test a formal...
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Electoral-connection theories of legislative politics view bill cosponsorship as low-cost position taking by rational legislators who communicate with target audiences (e.g., constituents) external to the legislature. Legislative signaling games suggest a view of bill cosponsorship in which early cosponsors attempt to communicate to target audience...
Article
In an intricate sequence of legislative decisions rich with implications for theories of collective choice, the U.S. House of Representatives in 1987 initiated a smoking ban on all domestic airline flights. Two previous studies--by LaRue and Rothenberg in 1992 and Shipan in 1995--analyzed and interpreted the case as supportive of institutional or c...
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A spatial theory of the comparative consequences of unified and divided government clarifies the relationship between institutions, partisanship and gridlock. Under formally specified conditions, executive and legislative institutions are shown to inhibit but not prohibit the convergence of public policies to those most preferred by the legislative...
Article
Theory: A pre-voting, nonpartisan adaptation of Snyder's (1991) ''vote-buying'' and Groseclose's (1995) ''favor-trading'' theories implies that significant cosponsorship and discharge-petition behavior will be concentrated in the middle of the ideological spectrum, independent of legislators' partisan affiliations. Hypotheses: Bill cosponsorship sh...
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Do rational legislators assign parliamentary rights in accordance with extremity and intensity of particularistic preferences? In numerous works in legislative studies, the gains from exchange hypothesis answers yes and asserts that such a legislative organization is politically efficient, since its outcomes give individual legislators more benefit...
Article
Political scientists have long been interested in the occupational decisions of politicians. Two events prior to the 1992 congressional elections brought journalists and the broader public into emotion-rich but data-poor discussions of how and why to achieve greater turnover in Congress. The House banking scandal gave rise to standard arguments tha...
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An important concern for testing any theory of legislative politics is how to measure legislative preferences. No existing measures are immune to criticism, so sound advice should be based on a balanced assessment of various types of measures. This study focuses on the ability of constituency characteristics to predict Senate roll call votes. Even...
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Political parties are prominent in legislative politics and legislative research. Using data from the 99th Congress, this article assesses the degree to which significant party behaviour – defined and operationalized as behaviour that is independent of preferences – occurs in two key stages of legislative organization: the formation of standing com...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
This paper combines an organization theory perspective with rational choice techniques to study legislative design. The specific focus is on how a legislature assigns members and transfers resources to standing committees with the aim of motivating committees to specialize and to share the benefits of specialization. The stimulus for the study come...
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Based on a legislative history of energy tax legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Ninety-third Congress, this article extends a spatial model of legislative politics to accommodate complex special rules. The model and extension yield two predictions regarding the effect of the assignment of rules on expected congressional outcome...
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A recent development in the theory of voting is the possibility that agendas over which legislators may engage in sophisticated voting can place legislators in awkward situations. Consequently, some legislators may choose not to vote sophisticatedly. Roll-call votes on the school construction bill of 1956 are cited as support for this "position-tak...
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A diverse set of congressional studies portrays members of standing committees as more or less homogeneous @'high demanders@' or @'preference outliers@' relative to members of the larger legislature. Using interest group ratings of members of the Ninety-sixth to Ninety-ninth Congresses, I conduct conventional statistical hypothesis tests to discern...
Article
A widely noted empirical regularity of congressional behavior is that standing committees exert disproportionate influence on congressional choices. The observed phenomenon has a number of labels-committee influence, committee power, and (from the parent chamber's perspective) deference to committees-and a large body of theoretical and empirical re...
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"The thesis of this paper is that restrictions on the ability of a parent body to amend committee proposals can enhance the informational role of committees. More precisely, restrictive procedures can encourage committees to gather information and can facilitate the adoption of informed policies that are jointly beneficial to the committee and pare...
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This article addresses the somewhat narrower topic of whether a theory of legislatures a la Shepsle, can usefully and intelligibly accommodate the diversity in real-world legislatures, and whether in doing so it can retain its ability to predict political outcomes. I argue that Shepsle's theory is indeed useful for understanding Congress, in spite...
Article
Legislative decision making is fundamentally sequential; subsets of members make decisions in committees prior to action by the full membership. But different theories of such two-stage decision making employ different assumptions about the degree of foresight committee members exercise. This paper summarizes the theories and reports on experiments...
Article
The new congressional budget process provides members of Congress with a new set of institutional mechanisms for making budget decisions. This article addresses the question of whether or under what conditions rigid application of the new budget process (modeled as, first, selection of the size of the budget and, second, its division) produces smal...
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Theories that predict aggregate legislative outcomes on the basis of individual legislators’ preferences are difficult to test because measures of preference typically are represented on an abstract scale, such as a 0–100 score, while many policies are represented more concretely in terms of, for example, dollars of appropriations. The author intro...
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Formal models in political science are increasingly attentive to institutional features that ostensibly play a crucial part in shaping political outcomes. Propositions yielded by these models have proven difficult to test, however. This study has two aims. Its substantive objective is to extend the spatial model of legislatures to illuminate the me...
Article
Congressmen often claim to dislike restrictions on their opportunities to offer amendments to legislation in the Committee of the Whole. Yet restrictive rules of various forms not only are quite common but often are voted into existence explicitly or implicitly. Whenever a modified closed rule from the Rules Committee receives a majority vote, memb...
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In recent decades, U.S. senators have made increasing use of complex unanimous consent agreements (UCAs) which preclude filibusters by setting a time for a final vote on legislation and which often specify permissible amendments and their proposers. Because of the numerous dilatory tactics permitted in the absence of a UCA, controversial legislatio...
Article
Reconciliation has become a regular feature of the congressional budget process. We address the question of whether or under what conditions the budget process with reconciliation (modeled as selection of the size of the budget first and its division second) produces smaller budgets than a piecemeal appropriations process in which the size of the b...
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Legislatures typically make decisions in stages: for example, first by subsets of members (in committees) and then by the full membership (on the floor). But different theories of two-stage decision-making employ different assumptions about the degree of foresight committee members exercise during the first stage. This paper reviews the relevant th...
Article
Obstruction of the legislative process is often abhorred, but few attempts have been made to specify either the conditions under which it occurs or the precise nature and degree of its putative evil. The author presents necessary conditions for rational obstruction by standing committees, simulates congressional situations to estimate the represent...
Article
A number of past studies have dealt with the quality of respondents' reports about their parents and immediate families. What previous work does not show is whether these reports improve or deteriorate as individuals progress into and through adulthood. Using a two-generation panel study to investigate this question, we conclude that there is no im...
Article
Two recent trends in American politics--a decline in the number of competitive congressional seats and an increase in the partisan independence of the electorate--originated in the mid-1960s and progressed at similar rates for the next decade. We tested the possibility of a causal relationship between these two phenomena and found, contrary to prev...
Article
We define and characterize bipartisanship in legislative settings in terms of procedural rights and transferable resources. Procedural rights determine which party or parties can make proposals or amendments to legislation. Transferable resources may be used by party leaders to influence the voting behavior of normal legislators. Two bipartisan mod...

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