In addition to the original data I have collected for my dissertation, published work, and current working papers, I am involved in the following two collaborative projects.

Institutional Interactions: The Impacts of Bicameralism and Presidential Powers on Legislative Structure

In a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant 1227186), Brian F. Crisp, John W. Patty and Maggie Penn and I have been developing theories of legislative organization and incumbents’ strategies in bicameral assemblies.

I have led a group of over 21 research assistants - undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds- in collecting and organizing legislative data from diverse official records and sources for nine Latin American assemblies. We have focused on collecting committee assignments, legislative transcripts, roll-call votes, and bills initiated. I have also carried out a detailed in-depth analysis of the procedural rules of all Latin American legislative chambers - 27 in total- in order to construct a dataset to further our work on how variations in legislative rules impact legislators’ behavior and policymaking.

An Expert Survey on Legislative Organization in Presidential Systems in the Americas

Tiffany D. Barnes (University of Kentucky) and I have just finished ``An Expert Survey on Legislative Organization in Presidential Systems in the Americas”. We are surveying over 250 experts through Qualtrics - an online survey software- to evaluate the legislative practices in 19 assemblies in the Americas. Â Because some of these legislatures are bicameral, we are gathering information on a total of 29 chambers. The sample of assemblies includes those in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The questionnaire centers on legislative committees and positions of authority. We seek to measure the prestige and importance of each standing committee and leadership position, which positions of authority are useful for distributing resources to the legislators’ constituency, who ultimately decides committee assignments, etc. We do not ask experts about formal procedures because those are available in chamber rules and constitutions. Instead, the survey aims to gather information on informal legislative practices in order to assess how much they differ from written procedures.

We expect the results to make an important contribution because, even though for a few legislatures these information has been gathered by other researchers, for most Latin American assemblies we do not even know which positions are most coveted by legislators.