From Morris Fiornia’s Divided Government, I learn some more interesting results:
Epstein and O’Halloran test the proposition [that divided government limits executive discretion] by examining the association between control of the government and Congressional alternations in discretionary trade authority between 1890 and 1990. Controlling for other variables that previous research has found to be important in trade policy making (e.g. unemployment and the price index), a change from unified to divided government has a significant restrictive effect on protectionism (both in the model and parallel empirical analysis), it appears that divided control inhibits the executive’s ability to conduct free trade policy.
Some would probably label me a free-trade fanboy, but I dislike executive discretion. I wonder if these results extend to other issues.