The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the Nlrb

Posted: 27 Jul 2000

See all articles by Susan K. Snyder

Susan K. Snyder

Government of the State of Minnesota - Department of Human Services ; University of Minnesota Department of Economics

Barry R. Weingast

Stanford University, Department of Political Science

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model of political influence on regulation that incorporates both the competing interests of elected officials and the relevant institutional constraints. To do this, we focus on one channel of political influence: the appointment of agency leaders to a multi-member regulatory board. The model has two stages, first, a bargaining stage between the President and Senate in which they choose a target policy; and second, the appointments stage in which they attempt to implement this target by choosing the median board member. The model's empirical leverage arises because elected officials can replace board members only when seats on the board become available through term expiration or resignation. This yields specific predictions about how and whether each appointment will change policy. We apply the model to the NLRB. The empirical results, investigating all appointments to the NLRB from 1949 until 1988, fit our theory remarkably well.

Suggested Citation

Snyder, Susan K. and Weingast, Barry R., The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the Nlrb. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Fall 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235470

Susan K. Snyder

Government of the State of Minnesota - Department of Human Services ( email )

444 Lafayette Rd
Saint Paul, MN 55155-3838
United States
651 284 4158 (Phone)

University of Minnesota Department of Economics ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
651 284 4158 (Phone)

Barry R. Weingast (Contact Author)

Stanford University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-723-0497 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

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