Research

Below is an overview of my research projects, including published articles, works under review, and working papers.

Peer-reviewed publications & law journal articles

"No Vacancy or Open for Business? Making Accommodations for Digital Platform Short-Term Rentals in Major American Municipalities" (with Braedon Sims), University of Hawai'i Law Review (forthcoming), available on SSRN.

"Mobilization and Counter-Mobilization: The Effect of Candidate Visits on Campaign Donations in the 2016 Presidential Election" (with Boris Heersink and Brenton Peterson), Journal of Politics (forthcoming).

"The Private Interests of Public Officials: Financial Regulation in the U.S. Congress" (with Christian R. Grose), Legislative Studies Quarterly (forthcoming).

"Economic Interests Cause Elected Officials to Liberalize Their Racial Attitudes" (with Christian R. Grose), Political Research Quarterly (2020).

 

"The Mask of Neutrality: Judicial Partisan Calculation and Legislative Redistricting," Law & Policy 41(3): 336-359 (2019).

"Packing the Courts: Ideological Proximity and Expansions to the Federal Judiciary from 1937 to 2012" (with Elli Menounou, Adam Feldman, and Thora Giallouri), Journal of Law & Courts 7(1): 81-106 (2019).

"Their Boot in Our Face No Longer? Administrative Sectionalism and Resistance to Federal Authority in the U.S. South" (with Nicholas G. Napolio), State Politics & Policy Quarterly 19(1): 101-122 (2019).

"All Their Eggs in One Basket? Ideological Congruence in Congress and the Bicameral Origins of Concentrated Delegation to the Bureaucracy", Laws 7(2): 1-15 (2018).

"Letting Down the Ladder or Shutting the Door: Female Prime Ministers, Party Leaders, and Cabinet Members" (with Diana Z. O'Brien, Matthew Mendez, and Jihyun Shin), Politics & Gender 11(4): 689-717 (2015).

Public scholarship

"In the South, it’s not just state politicians who work against federal policies. It’s the bureaucrats too" (with Nicholas G. Napolio). London School of Economics US Centre American Politics & Policy Blog, available at https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2019/02/08/in-the-south-its-not-just-state-politicians-who-work-against-federal-policies-its-the-bureaucrats-too/

 

"Concentrating implementation: How ideological agreement between the House and Senate affects delegation to the bureaucracy." LegBranch.com Blog, available at http://www.legbranch.com/theblog/2018/6/5/concentrating-implementation-how-ideological-agreement-between-the-house-and-senate-affects-delegation-to-the-bureaucracy

"Partisanship Drives State Agencies' Response to Federal Regulation" (with Nicholas G. Napolio). The Regulatory Review, available at https://www.theregreview.org/2018/05/07/napolio-peterson-partisanship-state-agencies-resistance-federal-regulation/

"What persuades elected officials to remove Confederate symbols? Framing it as good for business" (with Christian R. Grose). The Washington Post - Monkey Cage, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/08/21/what-persuades-elected-officials-to-remove-confederate-symbols-framing-it-as-good-for-business/​

Working papers

"The Outer Limits of Neutrality in Quasi-Judicial Institutions: Private Financial Interests and Decision-Making on the National Labor Relations Board."

Abstract: Do private financial interests inhibit neutral bureaucratic decision-making in federal agencies?  I theorize that bureaucratic agents engage in strategic behavior based on their personal asset allocations when deciding crucial issues of public policy.  I examine the role played by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Members’ private financial interests in their approach to the adjudication of disputes in industrial relations.  There are two competing theoretical expectations regarding the effect of Members’ personal financial interests on their adjudicatory decisions.  I expect that Members’ ownership interests in firms from particular economic sectors will result in either (1) a long-term precedent creation strategy involving the creation of Board precedent intended to shield future employer disputants in that sector from administrative intrusion; or (2) a short-term competitor punishment strategy in which they support increased administrative scrutiny into organizational practices at competitor firms from sectors in which they own stock in order to reinforce the financial wellbeing of those firms in which the Member has a personal interest.  Empirically, I leverage an institutional feature of the NLRB that functions as a natural field experiment of political elites: the random assignment of three-member panels to the labor disputes that reach the NLRB.  I find that Board Members engage in competitor punishment when adjudicating labor disputes.  This study is normatively important, as it suggests that personal financial interests – and not simply bureaucratic neutrality – affect administrative agency decisions.  Methodologically, this is one of the few true natural field experiments where bureaucrats are randomly assigned to make public policy decisions.

"The Life of Laws: Political Uncertainty, Rulemaking, and Regulatory Regimes" (with Pamela Clouser McCann and Nicholas G. Napolio).

Abstract: Under what conditions does a law create fast- versus slow-moving regulatory regimes? And when does a law create long-lasting versus short-lived regulatory opportunities for agencies? In this paper, we develop and test a formal theory of how bureaucratic discretion, political context, policy uncertainty and the costliness of rule production alter incentives for bureaucratic rulemaking pursuant to those laws. We argue that political and production risks impact agency uncertainty and the timing of rule promulgation. Once a law is enacted, uncertainty varies as governing coalitions enter and exit political institutions. Because the ideological composition of these coalitions change over time, so does the ideological alignment with agencies responsible for implementation and rulemaking, calibrating bureaucratic expectations regarding the degree of legislative oversight and potential rule production costs. Additionally, variation in political uncertainty over time influences bureaucratic strategies, increasing or decreasing the volume and speed of rulemaking. As such, we examine rulemaking pursuant to significant federal enactments since the Administrative Procedure Act.

"Prosecuting Policy: State Attorneys General and Ideological Opposition to Federal Agencies" (with Nicholas G. Napolio).

Abstract: Why do state officials oppose policies issued by federal administrative agencies? Is state attorney general opposition to federal administrative policy grounded in the ideology of the agency responsible for promulgating or implementing it? Using data from over thirty years, fifty states, and twenty-six federal agencies, we find that state attorneys general, regardless of their party, systematically oppose liberal federal agencies, particularly when the president is a Democrat. State attorneys general are about four times as likely to oppose liberal agencies than conservative agencies. We argue state attorneys general systematically oppose liberal federal agencies because liberal agencies tend to promulgate broad regulations and state attorneys general wish to preserve state policy sovereignty; and state attorneys general are, regardless of their party, fundamentally conservative, as they deliberately choose to run for an office dedicated to the pursuit of a “law and order” policy agenda through prosecutorial means, typically associated with political conservatism.

North Carolina State University

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of Political Science

212 Caldwell Hall, Campus Box 8102

Raleigh, NC 27695-8102