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A Model of Party Discipline in a Congress

  • Zudenkova, Galina

This paper studies party discipline in a congress within a political agency framework with retrospective voting. Party discipline serves as an incentive device to induce office-motivated congress members to perform in line with the party leadership's objective of controlling both the executive and the legislative branches of government. I show first that the same party is more likely to control both branches of government (i.e., unified government) the stronger the party discipline in the congress is. Second, the leader of the governing party imposes more party discipline under unified government than does the opposition leader under divided government. Moreover, the incumbents' aggregate performance increases with party discipline, so a representative voter becomes better off.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29890.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29890
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  1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brollo, Fernanda & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2011. "Tying Your Enemy’s Hands in Close Races: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 5698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  5. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  7. Josep Colomer, 2005. "Policy making in divided government: A pivotal actors model with party discipline," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 247-269, December.
  8. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  9. Zudenkova, Galina, 2010. "A Political Agency Model of Coattail Voting," MPRA Paper 28800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Diermeier, Daniel & Feddersen, Timothy J., 1998. "Comparing constitutions:: Cohesion and distribution in legislatures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 665-672, May.
  11. Iaryczower, Matias, 2008. "Contestable Leadership: Party Leaders as Principals and Agents," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(3), pages 203-225, October.
  12. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Eguia, Jon X., 2011. "Voting blocs, party discipline and party formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-135, September.
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