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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Testa, Cecilia, 2010. "Bicameralism and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:181-198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 433-449, March.
    2. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    3. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2016. "Corruption and bicameral reforms," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 387-411, August.
    4. Testa, Cecilia, 2012. "Is polarization bad?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1104-1118.
    5. Mickael Melki & Andrew Pickering, 2016. "Polarization and Corruption in America," Discussion Papers 16/09, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2009. "Reforming Legislatures: Is one House better than two?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2659, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Ross Hickey, 2013. "Bicameral bargaining and federation formation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 217-241, March.

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