Raising the issue : inter-institutional agenda setting on Social Security
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When setting the agenda for policy change, does the president convince Congress to pay attention to an issue or vise versa? Does the level of influence vary by chamber in Congress? Scholars of American political institutions have long struggled over questions regarding the directionality of agenda setting influence. This paper examines presidential and congressional action on Social Security from 1946 to 2008 to see if one branch has a significant effect on the other in regard to placing an issue on the institutional agenda. Additionally, this paper considers how the two houses of Congress may differ at the agenda setting stage on an issue. Using Vector Autoregression, I test the directionality of agenda setting influence in a social policy area to get a better picture of agenda setting dynamics.