Patronage Appointments and Agency Independence

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Authors Gary E. Hollibaugh
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract When making appointments to bureaucratic positions, presidents often have to balance various appointee traits, including loyalty, competence, connections, campaign experience, and potential electoral benefit. Previous research has suggested that patronage appointees—often characterized as those individuals appointed because of campaign experience, electoral benefit, or other nonpolicy political benefits—tend to be placed in low-priority agencies whose missions are ideological matches to the president and in positions where they will have minimal effects on agency outcomes. However, this research has overlooked the role of agency structure and the ease with which appointees can be placed into—or removed from—office. This article focuses on agency decision-maker independence, or the extent to which agency structure limits the appointment/removal of key agency decision makers. Using data on individuals appointed in the first six months of the Obama administration, I find that presidents put fewer patronage a...
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R
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