Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey is Reader in Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective (MIT Press).

  • Deliberating American Monetary Policy

    Deliberating American Monetary Policy

    A Textual Analysis

    Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

    A systematic analysis of Federal Reserve and congressional deliberations on monetary policy, drawing on textual analysis software and in-depth interviews with participants.

    American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants' personal experiences.

    Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker's emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
  • From the Corn Laws to Free Trade

    From the Corn Laws to Free Trade

    Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective

    Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

    The overlapping and interacting forces that caused a Conservative government to repeal the protectionist Corn Laws against its own political principles and economic interests: extensive qualitative and quantitative analysis.

    The repeal of Britain's Corn Laws in 1846—one of the most important economic policy decisions of the nineteenth century—has long intrigued and puzzled political scientists, historians, and economists. Why would a Conservative prime minister act against his own party's interests? The Conservatives entered government in 1841 with a strong commitment to protecting agriculture; five years later, the Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel presided over repeal of the protectionist Corn Laws, violating party principles and undercutting the economic interests of the land-owning aristocracy. Only a third of Conservative members of Parliament supported the repeal legislation and within a month of repeal, Peel's government fell. The Conservatives remained out of power for decades. In this definitive book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey examines the interacting forces that brought about the abrupt beginning of Britain's free-trade empire.Using a wide variety of methodological tools to measure both qualitative and quantitative data (including computer-assisted content analysis of thousands of pages of parliamentary debates), Schonhardt-Bailey concludes that economic interests provided the momentum behind repeal, a momentum that overshadowed almost all else. Indeed, as part of a broader momentum of democratic reform, these same interests, left unsatisfied, may easily have snowballed into revolution—as Sir Robert Peel and others feared. But interests alone did not explain why reform rather than revolution emerged in mid-nineteenth century Britain. In order to resolve more fully the long-standing puzzle of repeal, Schonhardt-Bailey traces the overlapping and intertwined forces of interest, ideas, and institutions.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $38.00 £30.00