Comparative Politics and Public Finance
We propose a model with micropolitical foundations to contrast different political regimes. Compared to a parliamentary regime, the institutions of a presidential-congressional regime produce fewer incentives for legislative cohesion but more separation of powers. These differences are reflected in the size and composition of government spending. A parliamentary regime has redistribution toward a majority, less underprovision of public goods, and more rents to politicians; a presidential-congressional regime has redistribution toward powerful minorities, more underprovision of public goods, but less rents to politicians. The size of government is smaller under a presidential regime. This last prediction is consistent with cross-country data.
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