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Ban, Pamela, Ju Yeon Park, and Hye Young You.  2023.  "How Are Politicians Informed? Witnesses and Information Provision in Congress."  American Political Science Review 117(1): 122-139.

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 Working Papers

Ban, Pamela, Ju Yeon Park, and Hye Young You.  Invitation to Congress: Hearings, Witnesses, and Information.  Book Manuscript Under Review.

Ban, Pamela, Ju Yeon Park, and Hye Young You. "Bureaucrats in Congress: Information Sharing in Policymaking." Working Paper.  Under Review.

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 bureaucratic expertise and the critical role of information, what drives information sharing between bureaucrats and Congress?  We argue that the partisan alignment between the executive agencies and Congress drive the amount and type of information that bureaucrats choose to share with Congress. 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 the quality of information they provide.  We find that the presence of divided government dominates as the main driver of the information exchange between bureaucrats and Congress, impacting not only oversight relations but how well-informed Congress is when producing legislation.

Ban, Pamela and Jaclyn Kaslovsky. "Local Orientation in the U.S. Congress." Working Paper.  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 mention their constituents and the local communities in their districts. Results reveal that women legislators use significantly more locally-oriented statements compared to their male counterparts. This difference between male and female legislators, which is concentrated among Democrats, is similarly observed on the House floor. Overall, these results provide new evidence that the link between gender and policy representation persists even in settings when constituents are not the only intended audience.

Ban, Pamela, Daniel Moskowitz, and James M. Snyder Jr. "Leadership Power in Congress: Evidence from PAC Contributions and Newspaper Coverage." Working Paper.

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.

Ban, Pamela and Seth J. Hill.  "Efficacy of Congressional Oversight."  Working Paper.

Scholars argue that oversight allows Congress to control the executive agents it empowers to implement law. Yet the tools of oversight are rather limited and debate continues as to how much political control oversight provides. How well can members of Congress motivate action within the bureaucracy? To measure the efficacy of oversight, we create a new data set on a bureaucratic deficiency that Congress has sought to reduce since the early 2000s: improperly-made payments to contractors and clients. We estimate the effect of congressional hearings, one of the most important tools of congressional oversight, on subsequent improper payments. We find that hearings on the issue do lead to a decline in improper payments for agencies whose employees are called to testify. But the magnitude of the effect is small relative to the base rate, suggesting strong limits on the effectiveness of congressional oversight. We find similarly small or no effects of correspondence, appropriation committee reports, statutes, and executive action. Our findings strongly imply that America’s elected officials struggle to effectively manage implementation of government policy.

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