Alan E. Wiseman's research while affiliated with Vanderbilt University and other places

Publications (58)

Article
Substantial evidence exists that members of the US Congress vary in their lawmaking effectiveness. Less known, however, is whether constituents are sufficiently informed and inclined to hold their representatives accountable, based on their effectiveness. We conduct two separate survey experiments, informing some constituents about lawmakers' effec...
Preprint
While scholars have long noted presidential powers over congressional lawmaking arising through persuasion, veto bargaining, and public appeals, we argue that an important tool is missing from this list. Specifically, presidents who are strategic in their choices of early coalition partners in Congress – such as effective sponsors of administration...
Article
We explain how two landmark Supreme Court cases, Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Association of the U.S. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (1983) and Chevron U.S.A., Inc., v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (1984), have constrained congressional and presidential control of the bureaucracy. We provide an overview of these cases, and...
Article
We use an extension of the Baron–Ferejohn model of legislative bargaining in which there are three legislators, two of whom have partisan ties, to analyze the division of a fixed political resource in a majoritarian legislature. A legislator’s preferences depend on the shares that he and any copartisan receive. We ask whether there are circumstance...
Article
We extend the canonical Baron–Ferejohn model of majoritarian legislative bargaining in order to analyze the effects of partisanship on bargaining outcomes. We consider three legislators, two of whom are party affiliated, with each partisan placing some value on the share of the dollar obtained by his copartisan in addition to his own share. We char...
Article
Just like members of the House, US senators vary in how effective they are at lawmaking. We create Legislative Effectiveness Scores for each senator in each of the 93rd–113th Congresses (1973–2015). We use these scores to explore common claims about institutional differences in lawmaking between the House and the Senate. Our analysis offers strong...
Article
Full-text available
Members of Congress seek to allocate their scarce staff resources carefully, given their multiple, sometimes competing, objectives. Using data on House members' staff allocations from 1994 to 2008, we demonstrate that legislators advance more (and more significant) legislation when they retain a more experienced legislative staff. This benefit, how...
Article
Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem to the inclusion of institutional considerations such as committees, political parties, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is better than another at solving public policy problems and that all policy makers are equal...
Article
Significant scholarship indicates that female legislators focus their attention on “women’s issues” to a greater extent than do male lawmakers. Drawing on over 40 years of bill sponsorship data from the US House of Representatives, we define women’s issues in terms of those sponsored at a greater rate by women in Congress. Our analysis reveals that...
Article
The field of nonmarket strategy has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years to provide theoretical and practical guidance for managers seeking to influence policymaking. Much of this scholarship has built directly on spatial and "pivotal politics" models of lawmaking. While extremely helpful at identifying crucial targets for lobbying, these models...
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
Previous scholarship has demonstrated that female lawmakers differ from their male counterparts by engaging more fully in consensus-building activities. We argue that this behavioral difference does not serve women equally well in all institutional settings. Contentious and partisan activities of male lawmakers may help them outperform women when i...
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
In the wake of Granholm v. Heald, numerous states passed new laws to regulate interstate direct shipment of alcohol that would seem to contradict the spirit, if not the explicit content, of the Commerce Clause. We build on existing scholarship analyzing the empirical impacts of direct shipment barriers to identify how these new laws are likely to i...
Article
Why may government regulation be a useful complement to business self-regulation in the financial services industry, while largely unneeded or even detrimental for e-commerce? We develop a game-theoretic model wherein a government establishes a mandate for product quality without possessing effective enforcement abilities, and a firm chooses whethe...
Article
Prior to the 2010 health care reforms, scholars often commented that health policy making in Congress was mired in political gridlock, that reforms were far more likely to fail than to succeed, and that the path forward was unclear. In light of recent events, new narratives are being advanced. In formulating these assessments, scholars of health po...
Article
We present a legislative bargaining model of the provision of a durable public good over an innnite horizion. In each period, there is a societal endowment which can either be invested in the public good or consumed. We characterize the optimal public policy, deened by the time path of investment and consumption. In each period, a legislature with...
Article
Over the past half century, one of the most important developments in the study of the American Congress has been the incorporation and expansion of rational choice approaches and formal models which have improved the understanding of legislative policymaking, of internal congressional politics, and of external interactions between Congress and its...
Article
A wide body of behavioral research has pointed to clear differences in the legislative styles and strategies of male and female lawmakers. Yet, much less is known about the impact of these behavioral differences on each group's legislative effectiveness. We engage this issue by exploring the progression of all public bills sponsored by men and wome...
Article
We develop a game-theoretic model that identifies conditions under which a political executive will be satisfied with the actions of an appointee who decides whether to investigate possible legal violations. Because investigations are a necessary precondition for enforcement, the investigator exerts significant influence over whether, and the exten...
Article
We develop a game-theoretic model wherein a government establishes a mandate for product quality without possessing effective enforcement abilities, and a firm chooses whether to ignore, comply with, or exceed the government quality standard. After bringing a product to market, the firm faces the possibility of nonmarket reactions by interests such...
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
The symmetric, stationary subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium in Volden and Wiseman (2007) is characterized by cutpoints between regions of purely collective, mixed, and purely particularistic budget allocations. The cutpoints in our published article were derived by finding conditions under which the proposer receives a higher utility in one region t...
Article
We show that the median legislator in the US House is unambiguously closer to the majority party median than to the minority party median. An impor- tant implication of this finding is that the median legislator is predisposed to support the majority party's policy agenda. Thus, in the event that the major- ity party organization exerts no influenc...
Article
Redistricting politics in Illinois provide a novel opportunity for testing competing theories of law making. With this in mind, we demonstrate that the post-2000 Census redistricters in Illinois, dominated by Democrats, strategically reshuffled district demographic profiles in an attempt to convert relatively liberal Republican districts to conserv...
Article
We investigate the contemporary impacts of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by focusing on recent changes in state laws governing interstate direct shipment of alcohol. The elimination of interstate trade barriers, consistent with the intent of the commerce clause, clearly facilitates efficient markets. More specifically, in 2003, the s...
Article
We develop a bargaining model in which a legislature divides a budget among particularistic and collective goods. By incorporating both private and public goods in a unified model, we uncover nonmonotonic relationships between legislative preferences for collective spending and the amount of the budget actually allocated to collective goods. Put si...
Article
I develop a formal model of bureaucratic policymaking to investigate why a legislature would choose to delegate authority to a bureaucratic agency whose actions can be controlled, ex post, by an executive with divergent policy preferences. Because the executive and legislature might find different policies to be salient to their constituencies, I d...
Article
Full-text available
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
I develop a model of electoral competition with partisan campaign support. Voters' utilities are defined over candidate locations and the amounts of party campaign support that they receive. Parties' utilities are defined over the location of the winning candidate and how much support they dole out for their candidates. Analytical results identify...
Article
An implicit assumption underlying most scholarly research and contemporary dis-course on campaign finance is that interest groups offer campaign donations in order to "buy" policy favors. Empirical evidence in support of this assumption, however, is decidedly mixed. This paper presents a model of lawmaking and elections which demonstrates how fund-...
Article
We investigate the impact of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution on market competition by focusing on recent changes in state laws governing interstate direct shipment of alcohol. In 2003, Virginia legalized direct wine shipping to consumers from out-of-state sellers. By 2004, the average price difference between online sellers and bricks-...
Article
Using data on party representation for the Rules, Appropriations, and Ways and Means Committees from the 47th–103rd Congresses, I test the implications of a recently developed theory by Dixit, Grossman, and Gul. Their theory predicts that, in any particular Congress, majority and minority party representation on committees should be a function of t...
Article
Using state-level data from Illinois General Assembly elections, I test the implications of a formal model of electoral competition where political parties present voters with platforms of ideological locations and levels of partisan support for their candidates. Consistent with the model, I find that candidate policy positions and parties’ campaig...
Article
This paper develops a model of campaign contributions and electoral competition. Contributors have separable preferences over policy and the electoral success of the candidate they support, as in influence buying. Policy preferences are single peaked over a single policy dimension. A candidate's chances of victory are increasing in the relative siz...
Article
Formal theories of “vote-buying” aim to explain legislative coalition building, and lobbying. While anecdotal evidence suggests that something approximating vote-buying occurs, these theories have not been subjected to substantial empirical tests. Using roll-call data from all House bills subject to votes on final passage in the House of Representa...
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
We discuss the political and legal environment surrounding Internet wine sales, and consider the arguments in the debate over direct shipment bans on wine by investigating the wine market in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Using a sample of wines identified by Wine and Spirits magazine's annual restaurant poll, we find that 15 perc...
Article
This study investigates the effects of the Commonwealth of Virginia's ban on direct wine shipments from out-of-state sellers on wine prices and variety available to consumers in the greater McLean, Virginia area. Our results indicate that Virginia's direct shipment ban reduces the varieties of wine available to consumers and prevents consumers from...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
for helpful comments, the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Illinois for funding for this project, and Chera LaForge for excellent research assistance.
Article
Health policymaking in Congress is mired in political gridlock. Reforms are far more likely to fail than to succeed, and the path forward is unclear. To reach such conclusions, scholars of health politics tend to analyze major reform proposals one by one to determine why they succeeded or failed and what lessons could be drawn for the future. Takin...
Article
We develop a formal model of clarity of responsibility to explore its interaction with other features of the political environment that shape the relationship between political principals and agents. We show that the introduction of clarity of responsibility has a number of equilibrium consequences, both positive and negative for the principal, tha...
Article
The most significant barriers to online wine sales are state laws that prohibit direct-to-consumer wine shipping. In 2003, Virginia legalized interstate direct shipment, providing an opportunity to test whether these laws significantly affect competition. Previous analyses found that Virginia's direct shipment ban deprived consumers of greater vari...
Article
How do differences in effectiveness across lawmakers influence legislative politics and policy outcomes? We develop a formal model of lawmaking wherein a legislator makes a policy proposal consisting of a bill in a unidimensional policy space and a level of valence. Actors’ preferences are defined over the policy location and the level of valence t...
Article
Many theoretical perspectives of Supreme Court decision-making, most notably the attitudinal model, assume that justices' policy preferences exhibit a uniform impact on their decisions across a wide variety of situations. I argue that there exists meaningful heterogeneity in the impact of policy preferences that can be explained theoretically and t...
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...

Citations

... Independent variables include the member's vote on the AHCA on May 4th, 2017, the member's position on the bill on March 4, the presidential vote in the district, and whether or not the member had announced that he or she was not seeking reelection in 2018. We also control for factors previously shown to influence challenger emergence such as whether the member is a party leader, the chair of a committee, the member's seniority, the member's ideology measured as her DW-Nominate score, and the member's legislative effectiveness score (Thomsen et al. 2019) . ...
... An additional problem in relation to the methods used to determine the effectiveness of laws is that such methods do not always seem to measure the outcome of laws but rather the correctness of the formal process followed in issuing laws. The Legislative Effectiveness Score, for example, is based on measuring the rate of agenda items turned into a law (Crosson et al. 2018; Volden and Wiseman 2014) rather than their relevance to address certain needs. In the whole process of lawmaking, this can at most be seen as a throughput or output indicator and not as an outcome indicator. ...
... Operationally, we defined it as party size (an inter-party constraint), membership in the coalition vs. the opposition (an inter-party constraint), and the legislators' serving as committee chairs (an intra-party constraint). In the literature, all three of these factors demonstrate the power of the party over the legislators' behavior (e.g., Cox and McCubbins 2005;Sieberer 2006;Soroka et al. 2009;Volden and Wiseman 2018;Zittel et al. 2019). For example, Sieberer (2006) found that larger parties exhibit greater unity than smaller ones (an inter-party constraint). ...
... Mainstream arguments from political science stress the impact of domestic political factors on animal incorporation. In particular, we highlight the relationship between party politics and the law (Downs, 1957;Krehbiel et al., 2015). Green parties, in particular, have established themselves as hubs of environmental and animal concerns since their origins in the early 1970s (Grant and Tilley, 2019), with direct implications for animal law (e.g. ...
... specifically, we need to consider the aspect or aspects of the party brand that leaders are seeking to bolster with their decisions about constructing the legislative agenda. if the majority party leadership is primarily focused on the "valence" component of its brand (Butler and Powell 2014;stokes 1963), it may orient its agenda setting towards addressing and solving problems with which voters are concerned (adler and Wilkerson 2012; Hitt et al. 2017). such a strategy, to the extent that it depends on the successful enactment of legislation, will likely tend towards the selection of bills with bipartisan support for floor consideration. ...
... Legislative effectiveness. To measure legislators' ability to advance legislative proposals, we adopt an index that has been developed in political science, which is the Legislative Effectiveness Score (LES) (Volden & Wiseman, 2014;Volden & Wiseman, 2016;Volden, Wiseman, & Wittmer, 2013). The LES is a composite index that measures legislators' influencetheir ability to get their legislative initiatives adopted by the Housein a granular fashion across the whole legislative process. ...
... 4 The operationalization of health, welfare, and education bills is based on the policy coding classification developed by Baumgartner and Jones (2002). A recent study by Volden et al. (2018) draws on the same coding classification to examine women's legislative behavior. Appendix Tables S.3 and S.4 provide a detailed account of the subcategories for each issue, as well as the time period for each observation. ...
... Another important determinant of quality, linked to decentralisation, is the risk that local politicians may pursue goals that are in contrast with the central government (i.e., vertical competition), and this may reduce the government's overall performance. Enikopolov and Zhuravskaya (2007) show that the presence of "strong" national parties reduces this risk. Therefore, we include in our estimation strategy the average of the age of the two largest government parties and the main opposition party as a proxy for party strength; we label this variable Party age. ...
... In the US from 1986 to 2012, nearly 94% of all public corruption cases were handled in federal court (Cordis and Milyo 2016). 5 This is important for two reasons: (1) appointment of US Attorneys and promotion of US and Assistant US Attorneys (AUSAs) tends to be politically motivated (Nyhan and Rehavi 2017); and (2) discretion in the decision to pursue specific cases lies mainly with the prosecutor (Gordon and Huber 2002;Shotts and Wiseman 2008;Gordon 2009;Rehavi and Starr 2014;Nyhan and Rehavi 2017). Combined, these two factors invite a significant amount of political influence over convictions, especially in states that are important to win in an upcoming election. ...
... Este tipo de análisis, que otorga a cada iniciativa el mismo peso, nos informa sobre el efecto que tienen diferentes atributos de la iniciativa sobre la probabilidad de aprobación. A diferencia de estos, los estudios sobre la productividad legislativa enfocados en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos se centran en la trayectoria de la legisladora y utilizan como unidad de análisis al individuo (Frantzich 1979;Hibbing 1991;Anderson et al. 2003;Jeydel y Taylor 2003;Cox y Terry 2008;Volden et al. 2013). Estos estudios examinan la productividad legislativa de los miembros del congreso dándole el mismo peso a cada individuo y evalúan su eficacia basándose en su historial de logros durante el período parlamentario. ...