The audio recording of our discussion on the political economy of standard setting is available here.  At the end, I emphasized that there are some opportunities for empirical work, and the benefit of theory is to provide a framework for knowing what data to collect and how to interpret it.

To see the possibilities, take a look at this paper on political contributions during the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and this paper by Allen and Ramanna on how the background and political affiliations of FASB Board members influences standard settings.  I have some concerns about the latter (the topic of another post, perhaps), but it is definitely worth a gander.