Research

Explaining Instability in the Stability and Growth Pact: The Contribution of Member State Power and Euroskepticism to the Euro Crisis

(with Mark Hallerberg)

Published in Comparative Political Studies 

The Stability and Growth Pact clearly failed to prevent the euro crisis.  We contend that the failure was due largely to the ability of the Member States to undermine the Pact's operation. The European Commission served as a ``watchdog" to monitor fiscal performance. The Member States themselves, however, collectively had the ability to change the content of the reports for individual states. We confirm the expectation that powerful Member States had the most success in undermining the role of the Commission. Perhaps more surprisingly, we find supporting evidence for our argument that governments with euroskeptic populations behind them were also more successful in weakening the Commission's warnings. These results have broader theoretical implications concerning which mechanisms explain country-specific outcomes under a shared rule. Another contribution is the creation a new dataset of European Commission assessments of Member State economic programmes and Council of Minister revisions. 

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Documenting the Unauthorized: Political Responses to Unauthorized Immigration

(with Julie Hotchkiss and Myriam Quispe-Agnoli)

Published in Economics and Politics

Cultural prejudice rather than self interest is the conventional wisdom for why voters respond negatively to immigration. Using a new measure of unauthorized immigrants based on self-reported invalid social security numbers, we show that voters' responses are more nuanced than mere prejudice against minorities. Using county level data from the U.S. state of Georgia, we find that voters in counties with above median levels of unauthorized workers are more likely to support the Republican party. We also find that wealthier counties and wealthier voters are most likely to respond negatively to the unauthorized. Our evidence warns against arguments that depict opposition to immigration as motivated solely by xenophobia and cultural fears among lower income whites.