Strategic Delegation? How Legislators Measure and Respond to Electoral Uncertainty

December 13, 2016 • 3:30 PM • Law School 4000

This seminar with Mona Vakilifathi will look at whether legislators are more likely to delegate a new program to an independent agency in times of electoral uncertainty. Prior studies used observational data to answer this question but the authors acknowledge a lack of appropriate empirical measures for electoral uncertainty. This talk will look at how political elites measure electoral uncertainty and whether a change in electoral uncertainty affects bureaucratic insulation. By administering a survey with legislators and staff to confirm the indicators political elites use to assess electoral uncertainty and using a within-subject experiment to compare how legislators and legislative staff change their own preferences to authorize the implementation of a new, hypothetical program to an agency within the executive branch or an independent agency in times of electoral certainty and electoral uncertainty. Sponsored by Professor McCubbins. For more information, please contact Victoria Zellefrow at