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Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

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

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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. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    3. Casper Hunnerup Dahl, 2014. "Parties and institutions: empirical evidence on veto players and the growth of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 415-433, June.
    4. Dennis Mueller, 2005. "Constitutional political economy in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 57-73, July.
    5. Dongwon Lee, 2016. "Supermajority rule and bicameral bargaining," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(1), pages 53-75, October.
    6. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert Gary-Bobo, 2012. "On the optimal number of representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 419-445, December.
    7. 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.
    8. James Rogers, 2005. "The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 217-233, April.
    9. Ross Hickey, 2013. "Bicameral bargaining and federation formation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 217-241, March.
    10. Shonchoy, Abu S., 2010. "Determinants of government consumption expenditure in developing countries : a panel data analysis," IDE Discussion Papers 266, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    11. 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.
    12. John Bradbury & W. Crain, 2005. "Legislative district configurations and fiscal policy in American States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 385-407, December.
    13. Per Fredriksson & Daniel Millimet, 2007. "Legislative Organization and Pollution Taxation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 217-242, April.

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