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How the President and Senate Affect the Balance of Power in the


  • Gisela Sin

    (University of Michigan)

  • Arthur Lupia

    (University of Michigan)


Can the President or the Senate affect the balance of power in the House? We find that they can. Our answer comes from a model that links House leadership decisions to the constitutional requirement to build lawmaking coalitions with the Senate and President. Changing the ideal point of a non-House actor, while holding constant the ideal point of all House members, can alter the House’s balance of power. Power shifts because changes in the Senate or President can reshape the set of achievable legislative outcomes, which, in turn, alters the bargaining power of key House members. A corollary clarifies when empowering preference outliers (policy extremists) in the House leads to legislative outcomes that moderates prefer. Overall, our theory clarifies how constitutional requirements induce House members to make different leadership decisions than they would if they were, as commonly represented, unaware of other chambers or branches of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Gisela Sin & Arthur Lupia, 2005. "How the President and Senate Affect the Balance of Power in the," Public Economics 0510007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0510007
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:01:p:85-104_19 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    congress; bargaining; legislative bargaining; collective action;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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