Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Partisan Presidential Influence over US Federal Budgetary Outcomes: Evidence from a Stochastic Decomposition of Executive Budget Proposals

  • George A. Krause and Ian Palmer Cook
Abstract

Can American presidents use their budget proposal authority to achieve their own partisan policy priorities? This is an important, yet challenging, question to answer since formal executive authority is ambiguous, and budgetary powers are shared in the US separation of powers system. Indeed, the question remains open since prior empirical designs conflate external constraints (arising from political and policy conditions) with those that reflect executive partisan policy priorities. This study advances a novel stochastic decomposition of executive budget proposals in order to analyze the extent to which presidents can shape the legislative funding of US federal agencies consistent with their own partisan policy priorities. Statistical evidence reveals that presidents exert partisan-based budgetary influence over appropriations that cannot be ascertained from previous empirical studies that rely on either the observed gap between presidential requests and congressional appropriations or standard instrumental variable estimation methods. The statistical evidence also indicates that presidents are marginally more effective at converting their partisan policy priorities into budgetary outcomes under divided party government. Contrary to theoretical predictions generated from bilateral veto bargaining models, presidents are also shown to exert effective partisan budgetary influence even when their budget requests exceed congressional appropriations.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All

George A. Krause is Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 (email: gkrause@pitt.edu). Ian Palmer Cook is Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 (email: ipc4@pitt.edu). Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Politics of US Federal Spending Conference, UC–Merced, 27–28 May 2010 and at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, 6 March 2009. We thank Sarah Anderson, Dan Berkowitz, Anthony Bertelli, Janet Box–Steffensmeier, Brandice Canes–Wrone, Dan Carpenter, Chris Den Hartog, Sean Gailmard, Brad Gomez, Jude Hays, Will Howell, Kristin Kanthak, LeeAnne Krause, Matthew Lebo, David Lewis, Mathew McCubbins, Soilou Namoro, John Patty, Jean–Francois Richard, Mehmet Soytas, Jennifer Victor, Christopher Wlezien, Jon Woon and seminar participants for helpful feedback at various stages of this project. We thank Jon Woon for graciously providing us with his House Appropriations Subcommittee data.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Angrist, Joshua D., and Pischke, Jorn–Steffen. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Banks, Jeffrey S. 1989. ‘Agency Budgets, Cost Information, and Auditing’. American Journal of Political Science 33(August):670699.
Baumgartner, Frank R., Jones, Bryan D., and True, James L.. 1998. ‘Policy Punctuations: U.S. Budget Authority, 1947–1995’. Journal of Politics 60(February):133.
Bendor, Jonathan, and Moe, Terry M.. 1985. ‘An Adaptive Model of Bureaucratic Politics’. American Political Science Review 79(September):755774.
Bendor, Jonathan B., Taylor, Serge, and Van Gaalen, Roland. 1985. ‘Bureaucratic Expertise versus Legislative Authority: A Model of Deception and Monitoring in Budgeting’. American Political Science Review 79(December):10411069.
Berman, Larry P. 1979. The Office of Management and Budget and the Presidency. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berry, Christopher R., Burden, Barry C., and Howell, William G.. 2010. ‘The President and the Distribution of Federal Spending’. American Political Science Review 104(November):783799.
Bureau of Labor Statistics The Employment Situation: Civilian Unemployment Rate. Washington, D.C.: General Printing Office 7 May 2010.
Cameron, Charles M. 2000. Veto Bargaining: Presidents and the Politics of Negative Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Canes–Wrone, Brandice. 2006. Who Leads Whom? Presidents, Policy, and the Public. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Carroll, Royce, Lewis, Jeffrey B., Lo, James, Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 2009. ‘Measuring Bias and Uncertainty in DW–NOMINATE Ideal Point Estimates via the Parametric Bootstrap’. Political Analysis 17(June):261275.
Christiansen, Vidar, and Jansen, Eilev S.. 1978. ‘Implicit Social Preferences in the Norwegian System of Indirect Taxation’. Journal of Public Economics 10(October):217245.
Christoffersen, Peter F., and Diebold, Francis X.. 1997. ‘Optimal Prediction under Asymmetric Loss’. Econometric Theory 13(December):808817.
Clinton, Joshua D., and Lewis, David E.. 2008. ‘Expert Opinion, Agency Characteristics, and Agency Preferences’. Political Analysis 16(Winter):320.
DixitAvinash, K. Avinash, K. 1997. The Making of Economic Policy: A Transaction Cost Politics Perspective. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Fenno, Richard F. Jr. 1966. The Power of the Purse: Appropriations Politics in Congress. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Ferejohn, John A., and Krehbiel, Keith. 1987. ‘The Budget Process and the Size of the Budget’. American Journal of Political Science. 31(May):296320.
Gilmour, John B. 1995. Strategic Disagreement: Stalemate in American Politics. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
GrangerClive, W.J. Clive, W.J. 1969. ‘Prediction with a Generalized Cost of Error Function’. Operations Research Quarterly 20(June):199207.
Heclo, Hugh, and Salamon, Lester M.. 1981. Editors. The Illusion of Presidential Government. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Howell, William G., Jackman, Saul P., and Rogowski, Jon C.. 2013. The Wartime President: Executive Influence and the Nationalizing Politics of Threat. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
James, Scott C. 2005. ‘The Evolution of the Presidency: Between the Promise and the Fear’. In Institutions of American Democracy: The Executive Branch, edited by Joel D. Aberbach and Mark A. Peterson, 340. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jones, Bryan D., Sulkin, Tracy, and Larsen, Heather A.. 2003. ‘Policy Punctuations in American Political Institutions’. American Political Science Review 97(February):151169.
Kamlet, Mark S., and Mowery, David C.. 1987. ‘Influences on Executive and Congressional Budgetary Priorities, 1955–1981’. American Political Science Review 81(March):155178.
Kiewiet, D. Roderick, and Krehbiel, Keith. 2000. Domestic Discretionary Appropriations, 1950–1999: Here’s the President. Where’s the Party? Typescript. Stanford University.
Kiewiet, D. Roderick, and McCubbins, Mathew D.. 1988. ‘Presidential Influence on Congressional Appropriation Decisions’. American Journal of Political Science 32(August):713736.
Kiewiet, D. Roderick, and McCubbins, Mathew D.. 1991. The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Levitt, Steven D. 1996. ‘How Do Senators Vote? Disentangling the Role of Voter Preferences, Party Affiliation, and Senator Ideology’. American Economic Review 86(June):425441.
Meyers, Roy T. 1994. Strategic Budgeting. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Neustadt, Richard B. 1990. Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership Second Edition. New York: Basic Books.
Niskanen, William A. 1971. Bureaucracy and Representative Government. New York: Aldine–Atherton.
Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government (Historical Tables): Fiscal Years 1960–2009. Washington, D.C.: General Printing Office.
Ramsey, James B. 1969. ‘Test for Specification Errors in Classical Linear Least Squares Regression Analysis’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B 31(2):350371.
Rohde, David W., and Simon, Dennis M.. 1985. ‘Presidential Vetoes and Congressional Response: A Study of Institutional Conflict’. American Journal of Political Science 29(August):397427.
Rossiter, Clinton. 1960. The American Presidency. Second Edition. New York: Harcourt–Brace.
Schick, Allen. 1990. The Capacity to Budget. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr. 1973. The Imperial Presidency. Boston, MA: Houghton–Mifflin.
Stovey, Allison J., and Green, Donald P.. 2010. ‘Instrumental Variables Estimation in Political Science: A Reader’s Guide’. American Journal of Political Science 55(January):188200.
TingMichael, M. Michael, M. 2001. ‘The “Power of the Purse” and its Implications for Bureaucratic Policy–Making’. Public Choice 106(March):243274.
Veillette, Connie, Epstein, Susan B., Margesson, Rhoda, and Tarnoff, Curt. 2008. FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations for International Affairs. Order Code RL34276. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service.
Whittington, Keith E., and Carpenter, Daniel P.. 2003. ‘Executive Power in American Institutional Development’. Perspectives on Politics 1(September):495513.
Wildavsky, Aaron. 1988. The New Politics of the Budgetary Process. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Wlezien, Christopher. 1993. ‘The Political Economy of Supplemental Appropriations’. Legislative Studies Quarterly 18(February):5176.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Political Science Research and Methods
  • ISSN: 2049-8470
  • EISSN: 2049-8489
  • URL: /core/journals/political-science-research-and-methods
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Krause and Cook Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 3

 PDF (609 KB)
609 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Krause Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
PDF
Supplementary materials

Krause and Cook Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 1

 PDF (22.0 MB)
22.0 MB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Krause and Cook Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 2

 PDF (609 KB)
609 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 59 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 429 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.