Congressional Economic Policy: A Model

Greeting from the University of the South! My name is Nicholas Pusateri, and I am a Senior Political Science and Economics double major at Sewanee. For my paper, I have chosen a research topic that allows me to combine my interest in Congress as well as my passion for economics. I am looking forward to discussing my research with you all in greater detail soon.

The goal of my paper is to analyze congressional economic policy from 1971 to 2011 in order to create a model for Congressional economic policymaking. By first coding Congressional economic policies, then, correlating those policies with both political and economic factors, this paper creates a model for understanding the economic policies of the post Nixonian gold standard era and potentially Congressional economic policy in the future. Specifically, by creating a model to explain and predict Congressional economic action, this paper explores the question: What type of Congressional economic policy can be expected under different economic and political conditions?

One of the main features of my study is that it is an inductive study rather than a deductive study. First, I code every economic policy contained in proposed bills that passed the House and Senate into a type of economic policy. Then, I analyze the conditions of which different policies were able to be passed.

Explicitly, Congress is given the power to raise and spend from the Constitution. Congress also uses its power to regulate. By breaking down these three sections into subcategories such as tax increases, tax decreases, stimulus, wage policies, and a breakdown on appropriations, I am creating a much needed typology for Congressional economic policymaking.

My hope is, by correlating major political and economic data with Congressional economic policies, I will be able to observe a trend and construct a model. By explaining the economic policy making power of Congress, the conditions under which certain policies are likely to occur, and the future of Congressional economic policy, my research will be a much needed addition to political science research in the field of Congressional economic policymaking.

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