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Government Corruption and Legislative Procedures: is One Chamber Better Than Two?


  • Cecilia Testa


This paper studies the impact of the competition between lobbies and voters on policy outcomes under alternative legislative procedures. Lobbies and citizens have opposing interests in a public policy and offer money and votes, respectively, to legislators to obtain their preferred policy. Comparing a unicameral and a bicameral legislative procedure, we show that bicameralism improves legislators' accountability when the same party controls the two chambers but not necessarily, if the two chambers are controlled by opposite parties. We also show that bicameralism with amendment rights (open rule) is better than bicameralism without amendment rights (closed rule). Finally, the evidence from a cross-country analysis, including 43 democracies, is consistent with our theoretical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Testa, 2003. "Government Corruption and Legislative Procedures: is One Chamber Better Than Two?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:41

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter & Greenaway, David, 2008. "The trade structure effects of endogenous regional trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 278-298, March.
    2. Yuriy O. Gaivoronskiy, 2015. "The Influence of Political Competition on the Efficiency of the Regional Executives in Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 28/PS/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item


    Bicameralism; corruption; lobbying; voting; party polarization.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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