Political inequality and financial rulemaking: A collaborative empirical project for the production of data
This project will undertake a quantitative, rigorous assessment of financial regulation in the United States, an underdeveloped area of research within the social sciences. While there is an extensive literature on regulatory politics, the focus on financial regulation has eluded many political scientists (and most economists as well). Moreover, research on the effects of unequal influence has largely focused on representation and legislation, with minimal attention paid to the final, critical step of rulemaking in the “sausage factory” of policymaking. This project will create a new database on financial rulemaking covering the past three decades, with a particular focus on the pre- and post-Dodd Frank Act. The dataset will be publically available and include rules changes, comments, and linkages of these variables to financial enforcement and appointments data. The possibilities for influencing the rules through lobbying of various sorts are enormous and may significantly contribute to economic inefficiencies, rent seeking, and inequality, which in turn have implications for growth.