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Policy-Specific Information and Informal Agenda Power

Hirsch, Alexander V. and Shotts, Kenneth W. (2012) Policy-Specific Information and Informal Agenda Power. American Journal of Political Science, 56 (1). pp. 67-83. ISSN 0092-5853.

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In Gilligan and Krehbiel's models of procedural choice in legislatures, a committee exerts costly effort to acquire private information about an unknown state of the world. Subsequent work on expertise, delegation, and lobbying has largely followed this approach. In contrast, we develop a model of information as policy valence. We use our model to analyze a procedural choice game, focusing on the effect of transferability, i.e., the extent to which information acquired to implement one policy option can be used to implement a different policy option. We find that when information is transferable, as in Gilligan and Krehbiel's models, closed rules can induce committee specialization. However, when information is policy‐specific, open rules are actually superior for inducing specialization. The reason for this surprising result is that a committee lacking formal agenda power has a greater incentive to exercise informal agenda power by exerting costly effort to generate high‐valence legislation.

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Additional Information:© 2011 Midwest Political Science Association. First published: 13 September 2011. For helpful comments, we thank Scott Ashworth, Steve Callander, Keith Krehbiel, Alessandro Lizzeri, Adam Meirowitz, Alan Wiseman, and seminar audiences at Caltech, Georgetown, Harvard, Kellogg, Maryland, Ohio State, Stony Brook, APSA 2008, and MPSA 2008.
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190430-081249006
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Official Citation:Hirsch, A. V. and Shotts, K. W. (2012), Policy‐Specific Information and Informal Agenda Power. American Journal of Political Science, 56: 67-83. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00538.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95105
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Apr 2019 19:57
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:10

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