Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Regulatory Regimes, Agency Actions, and the Conditional Nature of Congressional Influence Charles R. Shipan American Political Science Review.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Regulatory Regimes, Agency Actions, and the Conditional Nature of Congressional Influence Charles R. Shipan American Political Science Review."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regulatory Regimes, Agency Actions, and the Conditional Nature of Congressional Influence Charles R. Shipan American Political Science Review

2 Are the actions of bureaucrats responsive to the preferences and changes in the preferences of elected officials? Focus on a specific power Congress has over agencies: the threat to pass legislation inimical to the agency How does this power cause agencies to adjust their actions? Role of congressional committees Spatial model of oversight (committees, floors, and agencies): agency policymaking takes place within specific regulatory regimes Expectations: in some of these regimes we should expect to find congressional influence; in other we should not Empirical test: Statistical tests of the influence of political actors on the monitoring actions of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over time Results: under certain conditions the FDA is responsive to the preferences of Congress (committees and/or floors), but under other conditions the agency can act autonomously

3 Delegation to agencies Members of Congress lack: time expertise Problem of responsiveness to Congress: Does Congress exert contemporaneous influence on agencies? What powers allow Congress to influence agencies? How does the internal institutional structure of Congress affect its ability to influence agencies? Delegation to agencies

4 LITERATURE REVIEW Does Congress exert contemporanous influence on agencies? Congress is inattentive to agencies (Dodd and Scott 1986, Ogul 1976, Scher 1963, Aberbach 1990, 2002) Weingast and Moran (1983)  Statistical techniques to examine whether agencies take into account the preferences and the powers of the current members of Congress: controversial results: –Evidence of congressional influence (Moe 1985, Scholtz 1991, Weingast and Moran 1983, Wood and Anderson 1993) –Evidence of limited/no influence (Eisner and Meier 1990, Moe 1987, Wood 1988) FDA: mixed results: –Congress and its committees influence FDA (Olson 1995, 1999) –The ideological preferences of the oversight commitee do not affect agency’s monitoring actions (Carpenter 1996) Under what conditions does Congress matter?

5 Spatial models of agency policymaking (Ferejohn and Shipan 1990, Hammond and Knott 1996, Steunenberg 1992) Agencies make decisions within a political context Role of internal institutions: Congress committees Policymaking is sequential (A  C  F) when the preferences of elected political actors change, an agency faces a different context (regime) ‘Regime’: a given configuration of institutions and preferences Expectation: under different regimes, agencies will take different actions (even if their own preferences remain the same)

6 A SPATIAL MODEL OF REGULATORY REGIMES AND CONGRESSIONAL INFLUENCE Adapted from Ferejohn and Shipan (1990) Assumptions: 1.A legislature has delegated responsibility over some policy to an agency (A) 2.The floor (F) has delegated primary responsibility within the legislature to a committee (C) 3.A single ideological dimension (on which to locate the policy and the actors’ preferences) 4.Committee has gatekeeping powers (controversial, but common and both theoretically and empirically sustained) 5.Action proceeds under an open rule When the committee decides whether to gatekeep or report a bill, it cannot know whether it will receive an open or a close rule

7 The game Three players (A, C, F) Solution concept: SPE AGENCY (I) COMMITTEE (II) FLOOR (III) gatekeeps introduces b a rejects passes amends abb*b* proposes a

8 Three regimes A

9 A

10 A

11 1)Committee-Floor Regime: A < C(F) < C < F -Legislature does not have to pass new legislation in order to influence the outcome (threat of legislation) -As the preferences of the legislature and the committee change, so will the agency’s outputs: -As the ommittee moves to the right, so will the agency’s output. As the floor moves to the right, the outpout moves left COMMITTEE FLOOR gatekeep introduces b a reject pass amend abb*= F COMMITTEE a = C(F) AGENCY ab b*= F FLOOR introduces bgatekeep a = C(F) a < C(F) reject pass amend

12 2) Gatekeeping Regime: A [C(F), F] The agency is able to implement its most preferred policy (a = A), unconstrained by the preferences of the legislature Agency’s outputs are unaffected by changes in crongressional preferences COMMITTEE FLOOR gatekeep introduces b a = A reject pass amend abb*= F COMMITTEE a not [C(F), F] AGENCY ab b*= F FLOOR introduces bgatekeep a not [C(F), F] a = A reject pass amend A

13 3) Floor Regime: C < F < A The only way agency can avoid legislation is to locate at the floor’s ideal point Agency’s outputs depend on the legislature’s preferences: as the floor moves right, so will the agencys output (positive influence) COMMITTEE FLOOR gatekeep introduces b a > F reject pass amend abb*= F COMMITTEE a = F AGENCY ab b*= F FLOOR introduces bgatekeep a = F a > F reject pass amend A

14 An agency is affected by the floor and by a committee only under certain conditions: it depends on the nature of the regime (i.e. the configuration of actors’ preferences) Political influence is contingent

15 EXPECTATIONS Political influence should vary dependently on the type of regime The committee should influence the agency under the Committee-Floor Regime The floor should influence the agency under both the Floor regime and the Committee-Floor Regime, but with opposite effects

16 The President The president sets the agency’s ideal point agency’s ideal point will be located in the same region as that of the president (not necessarily A = P) President’s position as a measure of agency’s location The president is most likely to be able to exert influence on the exact location of the agency in the Gatekeeping Regime (since the committee will not introduce legislation) Let us examine congressional influence even when the president is in a vantage position It biases the coefficients for the congressional variables towards zero and makes it more difficult to find significant results for congressional variables in the Committee-Floor and Floor regimes. The president is incorporated in the model, but not included as a veto player

17 Bicameralism House and Senate five possible regimes Yet, the agency needs only to pay attention to one house Once an house is satisfied by the agency’s action, the agency no longer needs to worry about override legislation being passed An example: Only the House committee and floor do influence agency

18 EXPECTATIONS where D CF, D G, D F are dummy variables set equal to one for Committee-Floor, Gatekeeping, and Floor regime X t is a vector of control variables Y t level of agency activity (= level of agency outputs): a greater value means more activity (i.e. more liberal) β 1 > 0 β 2 < 0 β 3 > 0 β 4 > 0 Predictions:

19 DATA AND OPERATIONALIZATION The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) 25 cents of every consumer $ spent in the U.S. is spent on products regulated by the FDA Dependent variable: level of agency activity an excellent proxy: monitoring activities (inspections and samples) -number of inspections in a year -number of samples in a year Data: number of FDA inspections and samples taken from 1947 to 1995

20 Independent variables: Political and institutional variable: Type of regime (=configuration of preferences) ideological scores for the president, the median member of the primary committee in each member with the jurisdiction over the FDA, the median member of each floor in each year (Common Space Nominate scores –reversed sign) Control variables (Olson 1996, Carpenter 1996): –Agency’s budget ($ millions 1983) Expectation: positive effect on the number of inspections (Olson, Carpenter) –Industry size (number of workers in the food and health industries in each year) Expectation: positive (Carpenter)/ negative effect (Olson) on the number of inspections –1962 passage of the Kefauver-Harris amendments (dummy) Expectation: positive effect on the number of inspections (Olson, Carpenter) ‘Change in the FDA’s reporting methods’ control variables: –Samples dummy Expectation: negative and significant coefficient –Inspections dummy Expectation: positive and significant coeficient


22 METHODOLOGY Time-series data: autocorrelation problem (Durbin-Watson tests) Prais-Winsten autoregressive technique Results using alternative methodologies are almost the same

23 RESULTS: an alternative ‘atheoretical’ hypotesis The preferences of political actors influence agency actions in a linear fashion-that is, regardless of the regime NOT SUPPORTED


25 Strong confirmation for the theory: in specific regimes, identified by the theory, Congress does exert influence over the agency’s actions Some indirect support that the variables do not matter when the theory predicts they should not

26 A different operationalization of the dependent variable Olson (1996): the FDA can substitute inspections and samples for each other Doing two separate regressions ignores the substitution effect Semingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) Results are almost the same

27 Further tests: The role of the courts: Hypothesis: the courts influence the relationship between congress and agencies (dummy variable for the Chevron case) Results: not significant Two alternatives to the floor median: –majority party median Results: not significant –filibuster pivot in the Senate Results: broadly similar

28 CONCLUSION One potential reason for mixed findings in past statistical analysis about the influence of Congress on the actions of regulatory and administrative agencies: the conditions under which influence is likely to occur Spatial model of agency policymaking  three regulatory regimes, each of which predicts that a different set of political actors will influence the agency (committee and floor; agency; floor) ‘Does Congress (floor and committee) influence agencies?’ ‘Sometimes’, i.e. under certain conditions (Committee-Floor and Floor regimes) Agencies are also influenced by other actors (the president) Other influences, in addition to the preferences of elected politicians: agency’s budget, size of the industry Is the floor made better off by committees that are representative of the floor? The more distant the committee is from the floor, the more likely it is that the agency will be able to choose a policy that is far from the floor  the floor should prefer committees to be inliers (unexpected result) The best situation for the floor is when committees and agencies are countervailing. It is consistent with the results of Epstein and O’Halloran’s (1999) transaction costs approach

29 Directions for future research: A more nuanced and independent measure of the agency’s location Models including other institutions (parties, courts, filibuster) Testable theories centered around congressional means for influencing agencies other than the threat of legislation

Download ppt "Regulatory Regimes, Agency Actions, and the Conditional Nature of Congressional Influence Charles R. Shipan American Political Science Review."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google