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Political Denials: The Policy Effect of Intercameral Partisan Differences in Bicameral Parliamentary Systems

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  • Heller, William B

Abstract

Bicameralism in legislatures affects both the legislative process and partisan competition. In the United States, divided partisan control of Congress has been found to lead to interparty logrolls and increased budget deficits. In parliamentary systems, it is generally assumed that similarly divided legislatures have little effect on policy. I argue, by contrast, that party discipline means that divided control of the legislature has the opposite effect: because cooperation dilutes party labels, parties have an interest in passing and claiming credit for policy, but also in preventing their counterparts from doing the same. The result is a game in which chamber majorities balance the desire to make policy with the need to differentiate themselves from each other (to the extent that they are different). I test the hypothesis of an inverse relationship between divergence and policy making in a nine-country, TSCS regression of deficits on an index of chamber divergence. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:34-61
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2009. "Reforming Legislatures: Is one House better than two?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2659, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Wehner, Joachim, 2010. "Cabinet structure and fiscal policy outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28648, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. B. Heller, William & P. Kyriacou, Andreas & Roca-Sagal├ęs, Oriol, 2014. "Legislative Vetoes and Corruption: The Effect of Formal Checks on Governance," MPRA Paper 61651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Testa, Cecilia, 2010. "Bicameralism and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, February.

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