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American Economic Review: Vol. 89 No. 5 (December 1999)

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Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures

Article Citation

Diermeier, Daniel, and Roger B. Myerson. 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures." American Economic Review, 89(5): 1182-1196.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.5.1182

Abstract

Theories of organization of legislatures have mainly focused on the U.S. Congress, explaining why committee systems emerge there, but not explaining variance in organization across legislatures of different countries. To analyze the effects of different constitutional features on the internal organization of legislatures, we adopt a vote-buying model and consider the incentives to delegate decision rights in a game among legislative chambers. We show how presidential veto power and bicameral separation can encourage a legislative chamber to create internal veto players or supermajority rules, while a unicameral structure can encourage legislators to delegate power to a leader.

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Authors

Diermeier, Daniel (Northwestern U)
Myerson, Roger B. (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


American Economic Review


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