Heather A. Larsen-Price

University of Memphis
Political Science

University of Memphis
421 Clement Hall
Memphis, TN

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My research focuses broadly on American institutional policy agendas and more specifically on presidential policy attention, the forces that determine that attention, as well as the effects that presidential policy agendas have on other institutions and political players. My five journal publications and my working papers reflect my substantive interests in presidency research and in the linkages between public policy processes and decision-making theory, as well as my broader interest in quantitative methods and democratic processes. I recently published a manuscript that investigates how presidential policy attention is allocated across policy tools and whether there is a channeling of tool use by policy area. I also examine whether there is evidence of disproportionate information processing within presidential policy attention allocation and whether it is common across presidential policy tools. I find that there is a canalization of presidential policy attention by instrument, and that the opportunity structure of policy tools shapes attention allocation. Another current project, with Paul Rutledge, investigates leaders and followers in U.S. institutional agenda setting. Past research on the presidency indicates that agenda setting is a powerful presidential tool, while other scholars have documented the president's difficulty in setting the congressional and public agendas. Very few scholars have investigated this question of leaders and followers in the American institutions, and we have the unique opportunity to do so with a stellar, comprehensive data set. Another project, with bureaucracy scholar Samuel Workman, examines presidential influence over the bureaucracy at the macro level. We are interested in the president's ability to both shape the bureaucratic agenda and induce bureaucratic activity.

Larsen-Price, Heather A. and Paul Rutledge. Forthcoming. “Follow the Leader: Issue-Dependent Representation in American Political Institutions." Congress and the Presidency.
Larsen-Price, Heather A. 2012. “The Right Tool for the Job: The Canalization of Presidential Policy Attention by Policy Instrument.” Policy Studies Journal 40 (1):147-168.
Jones, Bryan D., Tracy Sulkin, and Heather A. Larsen. 2003. "Punctuations in American Political Institutions." American Political Science Review 97 (1):151-169.
Jones, Bryan D., Heather A. Larsen-Price, and John Wilkerson. 2009. "Representation and American Governing Institutions." Journal of Politics 71 (1): 262-276.
Baumgartner, Frank R., Heather A. Larsen-Price, Beth L. Leech, and Paul Rutledge. 2010. "Congressional and Presidential Effects on the Demand for Lobbying." Political Research Quarterly.

Substantive Focus:

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY