We all know that "political economy" is hot stuff these days. In this blog post, I will succinctly state my recent efforts on this subject. You will be relieved to know that all of my work has been empirical. I will discuss this work in random order.
Paper #1; In joint work with Stuart Gabriel and Ryan Vaughn, we use a unique micro data set to study a major subprime lenders' loans between 2003 and the end of 2006. We document that this bank played favorites in terms of Congressional Geography. Borrowers who lived in Congressional Districts where the Representative was a Congressional Leader, or this bank had previously made campaign contributions to the Representative, received "sweeter deals". This is especially true if the borrower was black. We argue that the subprime bank was seeking to win "political capital" with key members of Congress that it could cash in at a later date.
Paper #2; In joint work with Siqi Zheng and Sun and Luo, we study the promotion of Chinese Mayors and the role that environmental criteria play in the central government's promotion criteria. We argue that relative to Mao's time that the new generation of mayors have much stronger incentives to seek to mitigate urban pollution externalities and hence to supply "blue skies". This is a major theme in my new book manuscript (joint with Zheng).
Paper #3; In joint work with Cragg, Zhou and Gurney, we study Congressional Voting on greenhouse gas mitigation legislation such as the 2009 ACES bill. We document that 3 attributes of Representatives (district per-capita carbon emissions, district per-capita income, and the Representative's overall ideology) do a very good job explaining the propensity to vote in favor of low carbon legislation.
Paper #4; In ongoing joint work with Matt Holian, we examine California household level voting on low carbon legislation including AB32 and the California High Speed Rail. We document that both ideology and self interest are key determinants of voting patterns. Center City residents (relative to suburbanites) are more likely to vote in favor of low carbon legislation both due to "selection effects" and "life style effects".