This is a partial list of research topics that I am working on.|
you are interested in obtaining more information about them,
please contact me.
The Indirect Effect of Direct Legislation,
published by The Ohio
State University Press, examines the effect of
direct legislation opportunities on interest group mobilizations,
characteristics and lobbying behavior. Using a formal model
of policymaking, I argue that the incentives that the
initiative process creates lead initiative states to have interest
group populations that are larger, more representative and that
focus more on outside rather than inside lobbying. These
predictions are confirmed through a series of empirical tests.
The Introduction is available
In addition, I have a series of papers that follow up on this
line of research by further investigating the effect of the
initiative process on interest group populations, including
survival rates, lobbying expenditures and interest group attention
to legislative bills.
Besides its effect on interests groups, I have other research
projects which study the effects direct legislation on other
areas of state politics. One project with John Patty develops
a model that shows how voters can use limited information to help
make more informed decisions when voting on initiatives.
Specifically, we show that the fact that
the legislature preferred not to enact the group's policy before
it became an initiative should make voters wary of the initiative's
effect on them, and that their wariness should increase as the group
gets larger. A second project explores the causes of statewide
variation in the number of initiatives that reach the ballot,
focusing in particular on the composition of state interest
A second set of papers with Mike Alvarez studies the signature
gathering process in California using data on signatures gathered
for eight different ballot measure. One paper studies the
distribution of signatures across counties as a function of
social and demographic factors. We find that the distribution
of signatures is surprisingly equitable. A second paper links
the signature gathering process to political involvement and
outcomes by studying how variation in the intensity of signature
gathering campaigns across counties influences roll-off, turnout,
registration and vote choice for our eight measures.
Rick Witmer and I are working on a project which studies the effect
of gaming revenues on Indian nations political behavior. Currently
we have one paper which studies the factors that are conducive to
the signing successful gaming agreements, known as compacts, between
states and Indian nations. We also study how gaming revenues have
translated into political activity by studying political
expenditures by Indian nations. A second paper argues that changes
wrought by gaming have allowed Indian nations to achieve political
incorporation in the political system through the use of interest group
strategies. This paper documents the increase in Indian nations' lobbying
expenditures and campaign contributions at the Federal level.
We are extending this research as we develop a book manuscript on
tribal political activities at the state (in particular in California) and Federal
levels. We focus on
a variety of activities, including campaign contributions, soft money expenditures,
lobbying expenditures, state lobby registrations, use of the direct initiative
process, and the content of bills lobbied on. Some of this research is available
in papers presented at conferences (one on Senate lobbying, total Federal expenditures
and one on political activities in California).
I have two papers which deal with issues of selection in political
science research. The first paper discusses problems with
estimating a specific class of models with selection (stochastic
truncation models) and proposes a method to help get estimates.
The second project, with Dan Morey and Meg Shannon, examines the
effect of non-random sample selection for duration models. Through a series
of Monte Carlo simulations we show that estimating standard
duration models (exponential, Weibull, Cox) on data that suffer
from selectivity generally results in biased coefficient
estimates and duration dependence parameters. We propose a full
information maximum likelihood estimator to account for the selection
process and obtain unbiased parameter estimates. Our Stata program
to estimate our proposed estimators is called DURSEL and is available
for installation from my Methods and Data page.
Sean Gailmard, John Patty and I have developed a theory of venue
choice by interest groups. In particular, we are interested
in understanding how the delegation of policymaking authority to
the bureaucracy structures patterns of interest group lobbying
and legislative response to that lobbying. We are gathering data
at both the Federal and state levels to test our theory.