Work in Progress

From Manillas to Bitcoins: Monetary Consolidation and the Strategic Regulation of Alternative Currencies.

Under what conditions will multiple currencies circulate in a domestic market?  While states have a variety of policies with which to defend their monopoly control over the medium of exchange, they are not uniformly enforced over space and time.  In this article, I draw on a search-theoretic model of domestic exchange in which a state decides the degree to which they either tacitly allow an alternative currency to circulate or employ currency restrictions such as fines and confiscation schemes.  Having derived predictions on the economic environments in which states will pro-actively restrict alternate currencies from circulating, I conduct a case study of monetary consolidation in the British colonial empire focusing on their ousting of the manilla as the primary medium of exchange.  Further, I argue the lessons from the model and case can inform our understanding of the variable cross-national regulations of digital currency used as a medium of exchange.

The Perils of Using Roll-Call Vote Results to Study Representation. (with Cliff Carrubba, Matt Gabel, Brian Crisp, Betul Demirkaya, and Dino Hazdic)

Roll-call vote results provide scholars the opportunity to measure many aspects of representation. However, the value of the roll-call record depends on how representative it is of legislative voting. First, we catalogue the standard voting procedure for 145 legislative chambers across 105 countries, finding that voting by roll-call is typically discretionary. Thus, the roll-call vote record suffers from potential selection bias in a wide range of legislatures, including the most studied ones. We then consider two arguments for discounting this problem: (a) the threshold for requesting roll-calls is sufficiently low or (b) the strategic incentives behind requests is sufficiently benign so as to generate representative samples. We address these defenses with novel empirical evidence regarding roll-call prevalence and an original formal model of the position-taking argument for roll-call vote requests. Our empirical and theoretical results con firm that vote method selection is broadly an issue for the study of legislative behavior.