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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.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6642/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6642.

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Length: 69 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6642
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  18. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  19. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
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