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Legislatures and government spending: evidence from democratic countries

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  • Roberto Ricciuti

Abstract

In this paper we study the relationship between legislature size with respect to general government and welfare spending. According to the theory, legislature size has an indefinite effect on government spending because logrolling and transaction costs have canceling effects. Bicameralism is expected to have a negative effect because of the increased transaction cost of finding a viable majority in two houses with different constituencies. We use a cross-section of 75 countries over the period 1990-1998 controlling for some institutional features that differ among countries. We find that both legislature size and bicameralism do not have a significant effect on the two types of spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Ricciuti, 2004. "Legislatures and government spending: evidence from democratic countries," ICER Working Papers 20-2004, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:20-2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    2. 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.
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    4. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    5. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
    6. Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, July.
    7. John Charles Bradbury & W. Mark Crain, 2002. "Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 646-659, January.
    8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, January.
    9. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    10. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
    11. 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.
    12. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2014. "Pork-Barrel Spending under Cournot Legislators and the Quantity Equation," MPRA Paper 61116, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    legislature size; bicameralism; interest groups; government spending;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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