Publications

Ban, Pamela, Ju Yeon Park, and Hye Young You.  "How Are Politicians Informed? Witnesses and Information Provision in Congress."  Forthcoming, American Political Science Review.

Ban, Pamela, Justin Grimmer, Jaclyn Kaslovsky, and Emily West.  2022. "How Does the Rising Number of Women in the U.S. Congress Change Deliberation? Evidence from House Committee Hearings."  Quarterly Journal of Political Science 17(3): 355-387. 

Ban, Pamela, Maxwell Palmer and Benjamin Schneer.  2019.  "From the Halls of Congress to K Street: Government Experience and its Value for Lobbying." Legislative Studies Quarterly 44(4): 714-752.

Ban, Pamela and Hye Young You.  2019.  "Presence and Influence in Lobbying: Evidence from Dodd-Frank."  Business and Politics 21(2): 267-295.

Ban, Pamela, Alexander Fouirnaies, Andrew B. Hall, and James M. Snyder, Jr.  2019.  "How Newspapers Reveal Political Power."  Political Science Research and Methods 7(4): 661-678.

Ban, Pamela, Elena Llaudet, and James M. Snyder, Jr.  2016.  "Challenger Quality and the Incumbency Advantage."  Legislative Studies Quarterly 41(1): 153-179.

Selected Works in Progress

Book Manuscript:

Invitation to Congress: Hearings, Witnesses, and Information Provision (with Ju Yeon Park and Hye Young You).

"Some Politics is Local: Local Orientation in the U.S. Congress" (with Jaclyn Kaslovsky).  Under Review.

 

What drives legislators to emphasize local issues in a nationalized setting? Although the representation literature has highlighted why legislators present themselves as district- or nationally-oriented in constituent-facing activities, research remains limited on this behavior within the halls of Congress.  We leverage congressional speech to provide evidence on how electoral competitiveness, district demographics, and legislator characteristics influence representation during the committee stage, a critical step in policy-making. Using hearing transcripts from 1999–2018, we examine what types of legislators are more likely to choose a local focus and use constituents as a justification for arguments. Our results reveal that women legislators use significantly more locally-focused statements and emphasize constituents at a higher rate compared to their male counterparts. This gender effect persists across parties, contributing new evidence that women politicians hold themselves to different standards of political accountability in office.

"Interest Groups and Information Provision in Judicial Politics" (with Jennifer Gaudette).

Interest group participation and resource provision have long been the focus of research in legislative and executive politics, yet this form of lobbying has received relatively less attention in the judicial arena. Interest groups play several integral roles in judicial politics, one of which is as amici curiae. Groups file amicus briefs to provide courts with information in an effort to lobby judges on their policy positions. Scholars have documented why interest groups file amicus briefs and have sought to determine the influence of these filings, but the actual content of the amicus briefs represents an understudied yet important element in judicial politics. Amicus briefs are the key form of information transmission from interest groups to courts during judicial decision-making. We introduce a text-as-data approach, enabling us to study the types and quality of information provided by outside groups to the courts. Using a newly collected dataset of the text of amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate courts, we measure the level of analytical information and the amount of social scientific research contained in each amicus brief. In doing so, we show the types of information provided to the courts and how this varies by the type of filing group, issue area, and stage of litigation. Our empirical results provide evidence supporting a theory of how incentives underlying interest group participation in judicial politics shape the provision and use of information in judicial decision-making.

"Bureaucrats in Congress: Information Sharing in Policymaking" (with Ju Yeon Park and Hye Young You).

There exists a canonical power balance in policymaking between Congress and the bureaucracy.  Information about policy implementation and its consequences has been theorized to be a determinant of who has a policymaking advantage: Congress or the bureaucracy.  Given the critical role of information, what drives information sharing between bureaucrats and Congress?  We argue that political incentives -- which underlie the type of bureaucrat or the partisan alignment between the executive agencies and Congress -- drive the amount and type of information that bureaucrats share with Congress in committee hearings.  Using a new dataset that covers the federal agency affiliation, appointment type, and agency-level characteristics of each bureaucrat who testified in Congress from 1961-2018, as well as a new measure of analytical information present in witness testimonies, we examine who from the bureaucracy testifies in hearings and what information they provide.  We find that the presence of divided government dominates as the main driver of the information exchange between bureaucrats and Congress.

"Leadership Power in Congress, 1890-2014: Evidence from PAC Contributions and Newspaper Coverage" (with Daniel Moskowitz and James M. Snyder, Jr.)

Congressional scholars have long studied the relative power of parties and committees.  Empirical evidence is limited on the relative power of party and committee leaders due to the difficulty of observing the power of legislators. To overcome difficulties in measuring elite power, we propose a creative solution: analyze the behavior of two astute observers of Congress, interest groups and newspapers. Since PACs are sophisticated donors who target contributions for access and influence, following the money allows us to measure relative power. From 1978-2014, we find a close relationship between party polarization and the share of PAC contributions to party leaders.  Another measure of power, based on the share of newspaper coverage of party leaders, produces similar patterns from 1890-2014. Our results suggest a strong shift in power to party leaders as intra-party preferences converge and inter-party preferences diverge.