Vacancies, Vetting, and Votes: A Unified Dynamic Model of the Appointments Process

Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 206-236, 2015

58 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2014 Last revised: 4 Jan 2016

See all articles by Gary Hollibaugh

Gary Hollibaugh

University of Notre Dame - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Pundits, politicians, and political scientists alike often bemoan the long delays in filling both executive and judicial vacancies. However, most political science scholarship has ignored why executives delay nomination, instead focusing on why legislatures delay confirmation. In this article, I develop a formal model that seeks to explain the causes and consequences of both types of delay. By incorporating the effects of time, nominee competence, and nonpolicy incentives, the model provides a number of important findings: (1) The passage of time exacerbates the executive's first-mover advantage and may result in less-competent nominees; (2) Confirmation delay results when the executive's costs of searching for new nominees are sufficiently high and/or the pool of potential candidates for nomination is sufficiently incompetent; and (3) Nomination delay results when the executive's internal vetting process indicates a candidate for nomination is sufficiently incompetent relative to the pool of potential nominees.

Keywords: appointments, presidency, bureaucracy, executive politics, dynamic modeling, game theory

JEL Classification: D7, D70, D73

Suggested Citation

Hollibaugh, Gary, Vacancies, Vetting, and Votes: A Unified Dynamic Model of the Appointments Process (2015). Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 206-236, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2406469

Gary Hollibaugh (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Department of Political Science ( email )

2060 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.garyhollibaugh.com

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