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The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production

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  • James Rogers

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Abstract

It seems obvious that divided governments should produce less legislation than unified governments. Yet studies have consistently failed to find such an effect. Because almost all existing studies focus on the experience of the U.S. national government, the data have limited analysis to a consideration of executive–legislative division and ignore the impact of division between bicameral chambers. The state-level data set employed in this study is not so limited. The results show that divided legislatures decrease the production of laws by almost 30%. Nonetheless, consistent with previous studies using national-level data, executive–legislative divisions have no impact of legislative production. The reason for this asymmetry is theoretically motivated. Additional hypotheses of interest are also tested, including whether Republican-controlled legislative chambers are more “conservative” than Democratic chambers in the sense of producing fewer laws than their Democratic counterparts. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • James Rogers, 2005. "The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 217-233, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:123:y:2005:i:1:p:217-233
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-0261-5
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-0261-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Coker, David C & Crain, W Mark, 1994. "Legislative Committees as Loyalty-Generating Institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 195-221, December.
    2. Crain, W Mark & Leavens, Donald R & Tollison, Robert D, 1986. "Final Voting in Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 833-841, September.
    3. John Charles Bradbury & W. Mark Crain, 2002. "Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 646-659, January.
    4. Rogers, James R, 2002. "Free Riding in State Legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 59-76, October.
    5. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Calcagno & Edward Lopez, 2012. "Divided we vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 517-536, June.
    2. Schelker, Mark, 2011. "Lame Ducks and Divided Government: How Voters Control the Unaccountable," Economics Working Paper Series 1130, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised Mar 2012.
    3. Below, Amy, 2013. "Obstacles in energy security: An analysis of congressional and presidential framing in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 860-868.
    4. Callander, Steven & Kreibiel, Keith, 2012. "Gridlock and Delegation in a Changing World," Research Papers 2100, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    5. Anabel Zárate-Marco & Jaime Vallés-Giménez, 2015. "Environmental tax and productivity in a decentralized context: new findings on the Porter hypothesis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 313-339, October.
    6. Bernecker, Andreas, 2016. "Divided we reform? Evidence from US welfare policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 24-38.
    7. Jungbu Kim, 2010. "Political Institutions and Public R&D Expenditures in Democratic Countries," Working Papers EMS_2010_16, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    8. Gregory Randolph, 2011. "The voter initiative and the power of the governor: evidence from campaign expenditures," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 265-286, September.
    9. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:131-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Anabel Zárate-Marco & Jaime Vallés-Giménez, 2012. "The cost of regulation in a decentralized context: the case of the Spanish regions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 185-203, February.
    11. Andreas Bernecker, 2014. "Divided We Reform? Evidence from US Welfare Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4564, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Gregory M. Randolph, 2014. "Institutions and entrepreneurial productivity in the American states," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurial Action, Public Policy, and Economic Outcomes, chapter 6, pages 100-116 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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