IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Theory of Bicameralism

We model the role of a parliament’s structure in shaping the accountability of elected representatives. In a setting in which lawmakers interact with a lobby through a bargaining process and with voters by means of elections, we show that only a single legislative body who can make take it or leave it offers to the lobby can be held unambiguously accountable to voters. Whenever the pressure group enjoys some bargaining power, two chambers might instead provide better discipline, depending on the rules governing their interaction, and in particular the allocation of the decision powers among them. We show that bicameralism with restricted amendment rights provides the best incentives, while unrestricted amendment rights result in a status quo bias. Furthermore, by adding complexity of the legislative process, the presence of a second chamber might lead to an undesirable outcome, i.e. a decline in the legislator’s bargaining power vis `a vis the lobby and a reduction in his accountability. Arguments suggesting that bicameralism is a panacea against the abuse of power by elected legislators should therefore be taken with due caution.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/Research/WorkingPapers/pdf/dpe0504.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 05/04.

as
in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision: Mar 2005
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0504
Contact details of provider: Postal: Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
Phone: +44 1784-414228
Fax: +44 1784-439534
Web page: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/

Order Information: Postal: Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
Email:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0504. 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: (Claire Blackman)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Claire Blackman to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.