Papers and Projects

Please use the following links to jump to each of the following areas of interest within my research agenda:

Dissertation Project
Legislative Productivity and Policy Change
Interest Groups and Lobbying
Polarization and Electoral Systems
Methodology and Measurement

Dissertation Project

Crosson, Jesse. “Waiting to Win, Choosing to Lose: How Close Elections Stymie Policy Change.”

  • Examines the electoral dynamics of policy change and shows how close elections, particularly when combined with polarization, can slow policy change even further than what election-less models predict.
  • Builds upon current formal models of policy change by allowing veto players to condition their actions on beliefs about a second round of play, following a hypothetical election.
  • Presented components: APSA 2017, MPSA 2018

Legislatures and Policy Change

Crosson, Jesse. “Stalemate in the States: Negative Agenda Control, Veto Players, and Legislative Gridlock in the American States.” Accepted for publication at Legislative Studies Quarterly.

  • Presented at 2015 APSA, 2015 MPSA, and 2015 NYU Hamilton Center Conference.
  • Examines the impact of negative agenda control on state legislature’s levels of legislative gridlock. Theory tested on aggregate legislative productivity data, as well as data on Affordable Care Act compliance.

Crosson, Jesse, Geoffrey Lorenz, Craig Volden, and Alan Wiseman. “How Experienced Legislative Staff Contribute to Effective Lawmaking.Working Paper.

  • Leverages data from Congress and Its Experts to delineate the conditions under which legislative staff experience improve a member’s legislative effectiveness.
  • Finds that the primary beneficiaries to staff investment are committee chairs and House freshmen. Finds also that investment into experienced staff is met with positive marginal returns, but that most members do not invest in staff experienced enough to enjoy these returns.
  • Presented at Congressional Capacity Conference, New America Foundation, Washington, DC.

Crosson, Jesse. with assistance from Zander Furnas and Tim LaPira. Congress and Its Experts. Ongoing research project.

  • Major data collection effort to gather and categorize information on congressional staffer service in the House of Representatives, from 1994 to 2015.
  • Data includes information on staff responsibilities, salaries, education, race, gender, and experience.
  • Recipient: University of Michigan Library data grant award.
  • Codebook


Interest Groups and Lobbying

Crosson, Jesse, and Michael T. Heaney. “Working Together in Washington: Assessing Collaboration within Interest Group Coalitions.” Ongoing Book Project.

  • Winner: Best paper in Political Organizations and Parties Section, American Political Science Association 2016 Annual Meeting; for paper “Constructing Interest Group Coalitions.”
  • Funding: University of Michigan Department of Political Science, University of Michigan Organizational Studies Program, University of Michigan School of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan Office of Research
  • Project based primary on in-person interviews of over 220 executive directors from a nationally representative sample of interest group coalitions. Interviews designed to examine differences in coalition structure, governance, institutional targets, and tactics/strategy.

Hall, Richard L. and Jesse Crosson. “Lobbyist Access and Gender in Congress.” Working Paper.

  • Examines whether a gender match between a lobbyist and her targeted legislative staffer increases her chances of gaining access to that congressional office.

Strickland, James and Jesse Crosson. “K Street on Main: How Political Institutions Cultivate a Professional Lobbying Elite.” Under Review.

  • Winner: 2017 Eldersveld Prize for best graduate student paper in Department of Political Science, University of Michigan.
  • Presented at 2016 SPSA, MPSA and APSA Annual Meetings; available on SSRN.
  • Develops first institutions-level theory and model of interest group hiring selection between contract and in-house lobbyists in the U.S. states.


Polarization and Electoral Systems

Crosson, Jesse. “Extreme Districts, Moderate Winners: Same-Party Competition in California and Washington’s Top-Two Primaries.” Working Paper.

  • Provides first quantitative evidence that the top-two primary in Washington and California leads to the election of more moderate candidates.

Tsebelis, George and Jesse Crosson. Multiple Vote System: Moving Parties to the Center in Multidimensional Spaces. Working Paper.

  • Proposes and tests via simulation a multiple vote system that, under certain conditions, benefits centrist parties in multidimensional space.


Methodology and Measurement

Crosson, Jesse, Zander Furnas, and Geoffrey Lorenz. “Using Position-Taking Data to Generate Ideology Scores for Special Interests.” Under Review.

  • Generates first ever large-N, continuous measure of interest group ideology, using bill-level position-taking data from more than 2,600 interest groups on more than 2,000 bills.

Dayaratna, Kevin, Benjamin Kedem, and Jesse Crosson. “Bayesian Inferences for Binary Logistic Regression Using Polynomial Expansions.” Working Paper.

  • Generates an estimation approach, using polynomial expansions, dramatically improves the estimation of heterogeneous Bayesian logistic models, as it substantially reduces the parameter space and improves computational efficiency over traditional MCMC approaches.

Crosson, Jesse, Zander Furnas, and Geoffrey Lorenz. “Estimating Bill Proposal Point Estimates Using Position-Taking Data.” Working Paper.

  • Generates point estimates for hundreds of bills from the 110th through 115th Congresses, using interest-group position-taking and member cosponsorship data.
  • Point estimates generated using Bayesian IRT, placing the scores on a common scale with members of Congress.

Please click here to access my ResearchGate page.