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A Theory of Competitive Partisan Lawmaking

  • Krehbiel, Keith

    (Stanford University)

  • Meirowitz, Adam

    (Princeton University)

  • Wiseman, Alan E.

    (Vanderbilt University)

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    Motivated by polar extremes of monopartisanship and nonpartisanship in existing literature on parties in legislatures, we introduce and analyze a more moderate theory of competitive partisan lawmaking. The distinguishing feature of competitive partisanship is that the minority party, although disadvantaged, has some guaranteed opportunities to influence lawmaking. Our analytic framework focuses on two dimensions of parties in legislatures: agenda-based competition, operationalized as a minority party right to make an amendment to the majority party's proposal, and resource-based competition, characterized as the ability of both party leaders to use transferable resources when building winning or blocking coalitions. We find that giving voice to the minority party in either one of these ways alone results in outcomes that, on the whole, are less lopsided, more-moderate, and more prone to gridlock than those predicted by the existing monopartisan and nonpartisan models.

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    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2136.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2136
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    1. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-63, February.
    2. Dal Bo, E., 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers 9939, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. David P. Baron, 2006. "Competitive Lobbying and Supermajorities in a Majority-rule Institution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 607-642, December.
    4. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
    5. James M. Snyder, 2005. "Why Roll Calls? A Model of Position-Taking in Legislative Voting and Elections," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 153-178, April.
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