Strategic Timing of Position-Taking in Congress: A Study of the North American Free Trade Agreement (ICPSR 1126)

Published: Mar 7, 1997 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University; Laura W. Arnold, Emory University; Christopher J.W. Zorn, Emory University

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01126.v1

Version V1

A critical element of political decision-making is the timing of various choices political actors make. Often when a decision is made is as critical as the decision itself. The principal investigators (PIs) posit a dynamic model of strategic position announcement, based in part on signaling theories of legislative politics. Specifically, they suggest that members who receive strong, clear signals from constituents, interest groups, and policy leaders, that do not conflict with their own personal preferences about which position to take, will announce their positions earlier. Those with weak or conflicting signals will seek more information from those same constituents, interest groups, and policy leaders, delaying their position announcement. The PIs test a number of these expectations by examining data on when members of the United States House of Representatives announced their support for or opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. They also contrast the effects of explanatory variables in the dynamic timing model with those of the vote model, and find that a richer specification of the form of the variables, interactions, and a larger set of variables explain the timing decision. The research thus allows analysts to interpret both the process leading up to the House action and the end state of that process.

Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Arnold, Laura W., and Zorn, Christopher J.W. Strategic Timing of Position-Taking in Congress:  A Study of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997-03-07. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01126.v1

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

(1) The data file (TIMING.ZIP) is in binary compressed (PKZIP) format. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

1997-03-07

1997-03-07

2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Laura W. Arnold, and Christopher J.W. Zorn. Strategic Timing of Position-Taking in Congress: A Study of the North American Free Trade Agreement. ICPSR01126-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997-03-07. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01126.v1

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