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Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy

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Author Info

  • John Charles Bradbury

    (Department of Economics, The University of the South)

  • W. Mark Crain

    ()
    (Center for Study of Public Choice, George Mason University)

Abstract

Early and modern scholars both presume that bicameral chambers limit the exploitation of minorities by the ruling majority similar to supermajority voting rules. We explain theoretically why bicameralism is a unique and desirable institution for protecting minority interests. The empirical analysis examines the structure of bicameralism in the American States. Using detailed data to proxy voter preferences, we find the degree of constituent homogeneity across chambers to be an important determinant of government expenditures for several budget components. Decreased constituent homogeneity tends to reduce redistributive spending and increase spending on public goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 68 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 646-659

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:68:3:y:2002:p:646-659

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Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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Cited by:
  1. Bryan Caplan & Edward Stringham, 2005. "Mises, bastiat, public opinion, and public choice," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 79-105.
  2. Roberto Ricciuti, 2010. "Legislatures and Government Spending: Evidence from Democratic Countries," The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1 & 2), pages 41-58, March & J.
  3. Per Fredriksson & Daniel Millimet, 2007. "Legislative Organization and Pollution Taxation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 217-242, April.
  4. James Rogers, 2005. "The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 217-233, April.
  5. John Bradbury & Joseph Johnson, 2006. "Do supermajority rules limit or enhance majority tyranny? evidence from the US States, 1960–1997," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 429-441, June.
  6. 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).
  7. John Bradbury & W. Crain, 2005. "Legislative district configurations and fiscal policy in American States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 385-407, December.
  8. Dennis Mueller, 2005. "Constitutional political economy in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 57-73, July.

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