Assistant Professor of Political Science
Joint with Ali Yurukoglu
Revise and resubmit at Legislative Studies Quarterly. Joint with Zac Peskowitz
Political Analysis 2012 20:501-519
The ability to veto legislation is the most important formal power of the presidency in the legislative process, and presidents’ veto behavior has thus attracted a great deal of recent theoretical interest. Game-theoretic models of congressional-presidential interactions explain vetoes by incorporating incomplete information over the distribution of presidential or congressional types. In this paper I examine two prominent such theories, as well as a simple “noisy” extension of a complete-information theory. I show that each makes strong predictions not only about vetoes themselves but also about the resulting override votes; given that overrides are so closely connected with vetoes, any valid theory of the latter must be able to successfully explain the former. I test these predictions empirically, and show that support for each of these theories in presidential veto and override data from 1973-2008 is quite weak. This negative result suggests that current models of the veto are incomplete; I sketch some possibilities for extension in the conclusion.