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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Marriage On The Ballot: An Analysis Of Same-Sex Marriage Referendums In North Carolina, Minnesota, And Washington During The 2012 Elections, Craig M. Burnett, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2016

Marriage On The Ballot: An Analysis Of Same-Sex Marriage Referendums In North Carolina, Minnesota, And Washington During The 2012 Elections, Craig M. Burnett, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Gaming Direct Democracy: How Voters’ Views Of Job Performance Interact With Elite Endorsements Of Ballot Measures, Craig M. Burnett, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2013

Gaming Direct Democracy: How Voters’ Views Of Job Performance Interact With Elite Endorsements Of Ballot Measures, Craig M. Burnett, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

Voters are thought to rely on elite endorsements in helping them make decisions. Their ability to use these endorsements is especially important in direct democracy, since ballot measures are complex policy proposals that lack partisan cues printed on the ballot. Using an exit survey, we look at California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of four Indian gaming measures on the ballot during the presidential primary election of 2008. We find that voters who had knowledge of the elite endorsement differed little from those who did not. We show, however, that Schwarzenegger’s endorsement was conditionally related to support for the ...


Cheap, Easy, Or Connected: The Conditions For Creating Group Coordination, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel Rodriguez, Nicholas Weller Jan 2013

Cheap, Easy, Or Connected: The Conditions For Creating Group Coordination, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel Rodriguez, Nicholas Weller

Faculty Scholarship

In both legal and political settings there has been a push toward adopting institutions that encourage consensus. The key feature of these institutions is that they bring interested parties together to communicate with each other. Existing research about the success or failure of particular institutions is ambiguous. Therefore, we turn our attention to understanding the general conditions when consensus is achievable, and we test experimentally three crucial factors that affect a group's ability to achieve consensus: (1) the difficulty of the problem, (2) the costs of communication, and (3) the structure of communication. Using multiple experimental approaches, we find ...


The Theory Of Minds Within The Theory Of Games, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner, Nicholas Weller Jan 2012

The Theory Of Minds Within The Theory Of Games, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Mark Turner, Nicholas Weller

Faculty Scholarship

Classical rationality as accepted by game theory assumes that a human chooser in a given moment has consistent preferences and beliefs and that actions result consistently from those preferences and beliefs, and moreover that these preferences, beliefs, and actions remain the same across equal choice moments. Since, as is widely found in prior experiments, subjects do not follow the predictions of classical rationality, behavioral game theorists have assumed consistent deviations from classical rationality by assigning to subjects certain dispositions— risk preference, cognitive abilities, social norms, etc. All of these theories are fundamentally cognitive theories, making claims about how individual human ...


The Blind Leading The Blind: Who Gets Polling Information And Does It Improve Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2010

The Blind Leading The Blind: Who Gets Polling Information And Does It Improve Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze whether and when polls help citizens to improve their decisions. Specifically, we use experiments to investigate 1) whether and when citizens are willing to obtain polls and 2) whether and when polls help citizens to make better choices than they would have made on their own. We find that citizens are more likely to obtain polls when the decisions they must make are difficult and when they are unsophisticated. Ironically, when the decisions are difficult, the pollees are also uninformed and, therefore, do not provide useful information. We also find that when polls indicate the welfare-improving choice, citizens ...


Connected Coordination: Network Structure And Group Coordination, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ramamohan Paturi, Nicholas Weller Jan 2009

Connected Coordination: Network Structure And Group Coordination, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ramamohan Paturi, Nicholas Weller

Faculty Scholarship

Networks can affect a group’s ability to solve a coordination problem. We utilize laboratory experiments to study the conditions under which groups of subjects can solve coordination games. We investigate a variety of different network structures, and we also investigate coordination games with symmetric and asymmetric payoffs. Our results show that network connections facilitate coordination in both symmetric and asymmetric games. Most significantly, we find that increases in the number of network connections encourage coordination even when payoffs are highly asymmetric. These results shed light on the conditions that may facilitate coordination in real-world networks.


Knowing When To Trust Others: An Erp Study Of Decision-Making After Receiving Information From Unknown People, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Seana Coulson Jan 2009

Knowing When To Trust Others: An Erp Study Of Decision-Making After Receiving Information From Unknown People, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Seana Coulson

Faculty Scholarship

To address the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie choices made after receiving information from an anonymous individual, reaction times (Experiment 1) and event-related brain potentials (Experiment 2) were recorded as participants played 3 variants of the Coin Toss game. In this game, participants guess the outcomes of unseen coin tosses after a person in another room (dubbed “the reporter”) observes the coin toss outcomes and then sends reports (which may or may not be truthful) to participants about whether the coins landed on heads or tails. Participants knew that the reporter's interests either were aligned with their own (Common Interests ...


Competition In The Courtroom: When Does Expert Testimony Improve Jurors’ Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2009

Competition In The Courtroom: When Does Expert Testimony Improve Jurors’ Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

Many scholars lament the increasing complexity of jury trials and question whether the testimony of competing experts helps unsophisticated jurors to make informed decisions. In this article, we analyze experimentally the effects that the testimony of competing experts has on (1) sophisticated versus unsophisticated subjects' decisions and (2) subjects' deci- sions on difficult versus easy problems. Our results demonstrate that competing expert testimony, by itself, does not help unsophisticated subjects to behave as though they are sophisticated, nor does it help subjects make comparable decisions on difficult and easy problems. When we impose additional institutions (such as penalties for lying ...


Nothing But The Truth? Experiments On Adversarial Competition, Expert Testimony, And Decision Making, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2008

Nothing But The Truth? Experiments On Adversarial Competition, Expert Testimony, And Decision Making, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

Many scholars debate whether a competition between experts in legal, political, or economic contexts elicits truthful information and, in turn, enables people to make informed decisions. Thus, we analyze experimentally the conditions under which competition between experts induces the experts to make truthful statements and enables jurors listening to these statements to improve their decisions. Our results demonstrate that, contrary to game theoretic predictions and contrary to critics of our adversarial legal system, competition induces enough truth telling to allow jurors to improve their decisions. Then, when we impose additional institutions (such as penalties for lying or the threat of ...


For Whom The Tel Tolls: Can State Tax And Expenditure Limits Effectively Reduce Spending?, Thad Kousser, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule Jan 2008

For Whom The Tel Tolls: Can State Tax And Expenditure Limits Effectively Reduce Spending?, Thad Kousser, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule

Faculty Scholarship

Can voters stop state governments from spending at high rates through the enactment of tax and expenditure limits (TELs), or do these laws become dead letters? We draw upon the principal-agent literature to theorize that TELs – one of the most frequent uses of the initiative process across the country – may be circumvented by the sorts of elected officials who would inspire their passage.

In order to investigate our claim, we conduct an event study. First, we test for the effectiveness of TELs across states using a differences-in-differences model. Second, we dissect our treatment variable using different legal provisions of the ...


When Voters Make Laws: How Direct Democracy Is Shaping American Cities, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2008

When Voters Make Laws: How Direct Democracy Is Shaping American Cities, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Agenda Power In The Italian Chamber Of Deputies, 1988-2000, Gary W. Cox, William B. Heller, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2008

Agenda Power In The Italian Chamber Of Deputies, 1988-2000, Gary W. Cox, William B. Heller, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We find strong evidence that governing coalitions in Italy exercise significant negative agenda powers. First, governing parties have a roll rate that is nearly zero, and their roll rate is lower than opposition parties’ roll rates, which average about 20% on all final passage votes. Second, we find that, controlling for distance from the floor median, opposition parties have higher roll rates than government parties. These results strongly suggest that governing parties in Italy are able to control the legislative agenda to their benefit. We also document significantly higher opposition roll rates on decree-conversion bills and budget bills that on ...


The Dual Path Initiative Framework, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2007

The Dual Path Initiative Framework, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Agenda Control In The Bundestag, 1980-2002, William M. Chandler, Gary W. Cox, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2006

Agenda Control In The Bundestag, 1980-2002, William M. Chandler, Gary W. Cox, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We find strong evidence of monopoly legislative agenda control by government parties in the Bundestag. First, the government parties have near-zero roll rates, while the opposition parties are often rolled over half the time. Second, only opposition parties’ (and not government parties’) roll rates increase with the distances of each party from the floor median. Third, almost all policy moves are towards the government coalition (the only exceptions occur during periods of divided government). Fourth, roll rates for government parties sky- rocket when they fall into the opposition and roll rates for opposition parties plummet when they enter government, while ...


Conditions For Judicial Independence, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Roger Noll, Barry R. Weingast Jan 2006

Conditions For Judicial Independence, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Roger Noll, Barry R. Weingast

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


When Does Deliberating Improve Decisionmaking?, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez Jan 2006

When Does Deliberating Improve Decisionmaking?, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Courts, Congress, And Public Policy, Part I: The Fda, The Courts, And The Regulation Of Tobacco, Jeffrey R. Lax, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2006

Courts, Congress, And Public Policy, Part I: The Fda, The Courts, And The Regulation Of Tobacco, Jeffrey R. Lax, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Canonical Construction And Statutory Revisionism: The Strange Case Of The Appropriations Canon, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez Jan 2005

Canonical Construction And Statutory Revisionism: The Strange Case Of The Appropriations Canon, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Statutory Interpretation And The Intentional(Ist) Stance, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez Jan 2005

Statutory Interpretation And The Intentional(Ist) Stance, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Daniel B. Rodriguez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Lost In Translation: Social Choice Theory Is Misapplied Against Legislative Intent, Arthur Lupia, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2005

Lost In Translation: Social Choice Theory Is Misapplied Against Legislative Intent, Arthur Lupia, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

Several prominent scholars use results from social choice theory to conclude that legislative intent is meaningless. We disagree. We support our argument by showing that the conclusions in question are based on misapplications of the theory. Some of the conclusions in question are based on Arrow's famous General Possibility Theorem. We identify a substantial chasm between what Arrow proves and what others claim in his name. Other conclusions come from a failure to realize that applying social choice theory to questions of legislative intent entails accepting assumptions such as "legislators are omniscient" and "legislators have infinite resources for changing ...


Agenda Power In Brazil’S Camara Dos Deputados, 1989-98, Octavio Amorim Neto, Gary W. Cox, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2003

Agenda Power In Brazil’S Camara Dos Deputados, 1989-98, Octavio Amorim Neto, Gary W. Cox, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


As A Matter Of Factions: The Budgetary Implications Of Shifting Factional Control In Japan’S Ldp, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Michael F. Thies Jan 1997

As A Matter Of Factions: The Budgetary Implications Of Shifting Factional Control In Japan’S Ldp, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Michael F. Thies

Faculty Scholarship

For 38 years, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) maintained single-party control over the Japanese government. This lack of partisan turnover in government has frustrated attempts to explain Japanese government policy changes using political variables. In this paper, we look for intraparty changes that may have led to changes in Japanese budgetary policy. Using a simple model of agenda-setting, we hypothesize that changes in which intraparty factions “control” the LDP affect the party’s decisions over spending priorities systematically. This runs contrary to the received wisdom in the voluminous literature on LDP factions, which asserts that factions, whatever their raison d ...


Rationality And The Foundations Of Positive Political Theory, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Michael F. Thies Jan 1996

Rationality And The Foundations Of Positive Political Theory, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Michael F. Thies

Faculty Scholarship

In this paper, we discuss and debunk the four most common critiques of the rational choice research program (which we prefer to call Positive Political Theory) by explaining and advocating its foundations: the rationality assumption, component analysis (abstraction), strategic behavior, and theory building, in turn. We argue that the rationality assumption and component analysis, properly understood, can be seen to underlie all social science, despite the protestations of critics. We then discuss the two ways that PPT most clearly contributes to political science (i.e., what distinguishes it from other research programs), namely the introduction of strategic behavior (people do ...