The impact of bicameralism on legislative production

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It is generally accepted by scholars, as well as by cameral partisans, that adding a second chamber to an otherwise unicameral legislative process will decrease the volume of laws that a legislature enacts. This study challenges the conventional wisdom. First, I offer a simple theoretical argument that shows that when second chambers can originate as well as reject legislation, bicameralism will have an indeterminate impact on legislative production. Second, I provide historical data gathered from the four U.S. states that have experienced cameral transitions. Although very rudimentary, the historical evidence, when coupled with the theoretical argument, raises serious doubt regarding the traditional claim that bicameralism reduces the production of legislation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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