DP11281 | Corruption and Bicameral Reforms

Publication Date

05/15/2016

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Abstract

During the last decade unicameral proposals have been put forward in fourteen US states. In this paper we analyze the effects of the proposed constitutional reforms, in a setting where decision making is subject to `hard time constraints', and lawmakers face the opposing interests of a lobby and the electorate. We show that bicameralism might lead to a decline in the lawmakers' bargaining power vis-a-vis the lobby, thus compromising their accountability to voters. Hence, bicameralism is not a panacea against the abuse of power by elected legislators and the proposed unicameral reforms could be effective in reducing corruption among elected representatives.