Congress, the President, and Policymaking: A Historical Analysis

By Jean Reith Schroedel | Go to book overview

Times to 1970 ( U.S. Bureau of the Census 1975) is apparently the best source, but its records are incomplete. Virtually all scholars in the field use this as the basis of their economic time series.

The longest relevant time series were those documenting changes in the prices of wheat corn, and wool from 1800. The agricultural prices, deflated using 1983 figures, were used to measure the well-being of the farming sector. The number of business failures and bank failures per year were used as more general measures of the nation's economic condition.

Other variables, such as the consumer price index, the gross national product, bank deposits, unemployment, population, and the money supply, were poor predictors. I also tried using lags and rates of change for most of these variables. All the series were extended with data from subsequent Statistical Abstracts of the United States ( U.S. Bureau of the Census 1972-87).


Notes
1.
The figures used to construct this variable were obtained from Omstein, Mann, and Malbin's Vital Statistics on Congress, 1991-1992 ( 1992), Schneider's "Congressional Staffmg, 1947-78" ( 1980), and Fox and Hammond's Congressional Staffs ( 1977).
2.
Using the midpoints gave me more plausible figures than I was able to obtain by the more commonly accepted method of regressing the bank committee staff figures against another variable that was likely to move in conjunction with it. I tried regressing the bank staff variable against the total staff figures for all House committees. This procedure gave me figures for the missing years that were higher than the numbers for the surrounding years. The probable reason for this distortion is the addition of three new committees since 1947, which caused the total number of House staff and the number of banking staff to diverge in the later years.

-202-

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Congress, the President, and Policymaking: A Historical Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xvii
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2 - Linking Goals and Methodologies 21
  • Notes 38
  • 3 - A Tale of Three Policies 41
  • 4 - Legislation Within Committees 83
  • Notes 116
  • 5 - Passing Legislation 121
  • Notes 153
  • 6 - A Comparison of Theories 155
  • Notes 173
  • 7 - Concluding Thoughts 175
  • Appendix: The Primary Data Set and Variables 188
  • Notes 202
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 234
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