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Bicameralism and corruption

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  • Testa, Cecilia

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of bicameralism on the level of corruption of elected officials. The relationship between parliamentary organization and corruption is analyzed in a two-period game between legislators, citizens and a lobby group, which delivers several predictions that we empirically investigate using a panel of 35 democracies during the period 1996-2004. Assuming that legislators choose a multidimensional policy on which citizens and a lobby group have opposing interests, we show that bicameralism improves the accountability of legislators to the electorate when the same party controls the two chambers and party polarization is high, while the opposite holds if the two chambers are controlled by different parties. These predictions find strong support in our empirical analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 181-198

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:181-198

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Bicameralism Lobbying Corruption Accountability Polarization;

References

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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Competing for Endorsements," CEPR Discussion Papers 1546, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  14. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  15. Heller, William B, 2001. "Political Denials: The Policy Effect of Intercameral Partisan Differences in Bicameral Parliamentary Systems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 34-61, April.
  16. Poole, Keith T. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "Are legislators ideologues or the agents of constituents?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 707-717, April.
  17. David De Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386, May.
  18. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Testa, Cecilia, 2012. "Is polarization bad?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1104-1118.
  2. Ross Hickey, 2013. "Bicameral bargaining and federation formation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 217-241, March.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology Across the German States," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-41, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  4. Stefan Voigt, 2009. "Positive Constitutional Economics II—A Survey of Recent Developments," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200936, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2009. "Reforming Legislatures: Is one House better than two?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2659, CESifo Group Munich.

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