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Policy making in divided government. A pivotal actors model with party discipline

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  • Josep M. Colomer

Abstract

This article presents a formal model of policy decision-making in an institutional framework of separation of powers in which the main actors are pivotal political parties with voting discipline. The basic model previously developed from pivotal politics theory for the analysis of the United States lawmaking is here modified to account for policy outcomes and institutional performances in other presidential regimes, especially in Latin America. Legislators' party indiscipline at voting and multi-partism appear as favorable conditions to reduce the size of the equilibrium set containing collectively inefficient outcomes, while a two-party system with strong party discipline is most prone to produce 'gridlock', that is, stability of socially inefficient policies. The article provides a framework for analysis which can induce significant revisions of empirical data, especially regarding the effects of situations of (newly defined) unified and divided government, different decision rules, the number of parties and their discipline. These implications should be testable and may inspire future analytical and empirical work.

Suggested Citation

  • Josep M. Colomer, 2005. "Policy making in divided government. A pivotal actors model with party discipline," Economics Working Papers 817, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:817
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:04:p:1155-1174_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:64:y:1970:i:02:p:426-448_12 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "A Model of Party Discipline in a Congress," Working Papers 2072/151813, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    2. Callander, Steven & Kreibiel, Keith, 2012. "Gridlock and Delegation in a Changing World," Research Papers 2100, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Zudenkova, Galina, 2012. "A rationale for intra-party democracy," MPRA Paper 39091, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Curto-Grau, Marta & Zudenkova, Galina, 2016. "Party Discipline and Government Spending: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 0624, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconomic policy-making; Divided government; Political parties;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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