The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the Nlrb
Posted: 27 Jul 2000
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.
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