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Title: Essays on Budgetary Politics
Authors: Hammond, Ben
Advisors: McCartyCanes-Wrone, NolanBrandice
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: American politics
Political institutions
Subjects: Political science
Public policy
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The federal power of the purse is constitutionally vested in the legislative branch, yet since 1921, Congress has formally delegated non-binding proposal power over the budget to the President. In the first chapter of the dissertation, I develop an informational theory of the annual appropriations process to explain the congressional incentives for doing so. The model identifies the political determinants of presidential budget requests and congressional appropriations, including the conditions under which legislators revise requests or, in some cases, strategically accommodate them. In the second paper of the dissertation, I test the model's predictions on a granular and comprehensive panel of annual appropriations. The analysis shows that, contrary to the findings of the extant literature, legislators regularly accommodate presidential proposals, and that congressional revisions are increasing in preference divergence, increasing in legislative capacity, and decreasing in bureaucratic uncertainty, all consistent with the theory's predictions. In the third chapter of the dissertation, co-authored with Leah Rosenstiel, we argue that empirical studies seeking to identify the effect of certain political actors on the federal budget should use measures of funding, rather than measures of spending. An important implication of the findings in all three papers is that Congress maintains substantial advantages over the President in the annual appropriations process.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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