Reforming Legislatures: Is one House better than two?
During the last decade unicameral proposals have been put forward in fourteen US states. In this paper we propose a theoretical framework casting some lights on the drawbacks of bicameral state legislatures and on the effects of the proposed constitutional reforms. In a setting where lawmakers interact with a lobby through a bargaining process and with voters by means of elections, we show that when time constraints are binding, bicameralism might lead to a decline in the legislator's bargaining power vis-à-vis the lobby and to a reduction in his electoral accountability. On the other hand, when the time constraint is not binding, bicameralism might improve electoral accountability. Hence, arguments suggesting that bicameralism is a panacea against the abuse of power by elected legislators should be taken with due caution and the proposed unicameral reforms in US states may indeed reduce corruption levels among elected representatives.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000.
"Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Muthoo, Abhinay & Shepsle, Kenneth, 2007. "The Constitutional Choice of Bicameralism," MPRA Paper 5825, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- McKelvey, Richard D. & Riezman, Raymond., 1990. "Seniority in Legislatures," Working Papers 725, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
- Levmore, Saul, 1992. "Bicameralism: When are two decisions better than one?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 145-162, June.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995.
"A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1995-01, McMaster University.
- Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, .
"Separation of Powers and Political Accountability,"
100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
"An Economic Model of Representative Democracy,"
Penn CARESS Working Papers
ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
- Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
- 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.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel & Luis Rayo, 2006. "The Power of the Last Word in Legislative Policy Making," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1161-1190, 09.
- 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.
- Testa, Cecilia, 2010. "Bicameralism and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, February.
- Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994.
"Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics,"
NBER Working Papers
4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
- Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
- Poole, Keith T. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "Are legislators ideologues or the agents of constituents?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 707-717, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2659. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.