Yackee wins APSA Herbert Kaufman Award

Susan Webb Yackee with paper co-author Daniel Carpenter, who gave a talk at the La Follette School in March 2022.
Susan Webb Yackee with paper co-author Daniel Carpenter, who gave a talk at the La Follette School in March 2022.

La Follette School Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee received the 2021 American Political Science Association (APSA) Herbert Kaufman Award for her co-authored paper titled “Inequality in Administrative Democracy: Large-Sample Evidence from American Financial Regulation.” The award was given for best paper presented at the 2021 ASPSA Annual Conference.

The authors provide a large-scale assessment of wealth inequality in agency rulemaking, identifying lobbying activities of over 6,000 organizations. The paper finds that wealthier organizations are more likely to participate in the rulemaking process and are more successful in changing federal agency rules, illustrating how an agency’s wealth translates into political power.

“We know that wealth inequality has grown in the United States,” says Yackee. “This paper is important because it begins to spell out the effects of this inequality for the public policymaking process. Moreover, it studies these relationships in a terrifically significant and complex public policy space:  financial regulation.”

The paper was co-authored by Daniel Carpenter, Angelo Dagone, Devin Judge-Lord, Christopher T. Kenny, and Jacob Waggoner from Harvard University; Brian Libgober from the University of California-San Diego; and Steven Rashin from the University of Texas at Austin. Judge-Lord is a former Ph.D. student of Yackee’s. He received a Ph.D. in political science from UW–Madison and is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

Yackee has been Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs since June 2018, and previously served as Director from 2013-2016. She is also a Collins-Bascom Professor of Public Affairs at UW–Madison. Yackee’s research and teaching interests include the U.S. public policymaking process, public management, regulation, administrative law, and interest group politics.

Yackee received the 2019 Herbert A. Simon Career Contribution Award from the Midwest Public Administration Caucus. It is the highest award in the field of political science for the study of bureaucracy and public administration. She also received the Kellett Mid-Career Award for her research from UW–Madison in 2019. Yackee’s article “Clerks or Kings? Partisan Alignment and Delegation to the U.S. Bureaucracy” (with Christine Palus) won the 2017 Beryl Radin Award for the best article published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory in the previous year.

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