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All Their Eggs in One Basket? Ideological Congruence in Congress and the Bicameral Origins of Concentrated Delegation to the Bureaucracy

Jordan Carr Peterson ()
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Jordan Carr Peterson: Department of Political Science, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129, USA

Laws, 2018, vol. 7, issue 2, 1-15

Abstract: What drives congressional choices to concentrate implementation authority for legislative enactments among relatively few bureaucratic institutions? And are increased levels of concentration in implementation power associated with intercameral ideological proximity in Congress? I theorize that greater ideological congruity between the House and Senate drives increased levels of concentration in delegated implementation authority to federal agencies. By examining every significant legislative enactment from 1947 to 2012 that delegates implementation responsibility to at least one federal agency, I consider the legislative dynamics of decisions regarding the range of institutions charged with policy implementation in the American administrative state. I find that increased concentration of implementation authority is associated with greater ideological congruence between pivotal members of the House and the Senate. These results suggest that the preferences of key officials in Congress contribute to defining the breadth of bureaucratic implementation authority in the federal policy process.

Keywords: delegation; policy implementation; legislative politics; administrative politics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K0 K1 K2 K3 K4 D78 E61 E62 F13 F42 F68 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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