The impact of divided government on legislative production

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It seems obvious that divided governments should produce less legislation than unified governments. Yet studies have consistently failed to find such an effect. Because almost all existing studies focus on the experience of the U.S. national government, the data have limited analysis to a consideration of executive-legislative division and ignore the impact of division between bicameral chambers. The state-level data set employed in this study is not so limited. The results show that divided legislatures decrease the production of laws by almost 30%. Nonetheless, consistent with previous studies using national-level data, executive-legislative divisions have no impact of legislative production. The reason for this asymmetry is theoretically motivated. Additional hypotheses of interest are also tested, including whether Republican-controlled legislative chambers are more "conservative" than Democratic chambers in the sense of producing fewer laws than their Democratic counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-233
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Choice
Volume123
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science

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