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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 fi…rst that the same party is more likely to control both branches of government (i.e., uni…ed government) the stronger the party discipline in the congress is. Second, the leader of the governing party imposes more party discipline under uni…ed 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. JEL classi…cation: D72. Keywords: Party discipline; Political agency; Retrospective voting; Office-motivated politicians.

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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/151813.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/151813
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  1. Zudenkova, Galina, 2010. "A Political Agency Model of Coattail Voting," MPRA Paper 28800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  3. 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.
  4. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  5. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. 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.
  7. Eguia, Jon X., 2011. "Voting blocs, party discipline and party formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-135, September.
  8. 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).
  9. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  10. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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