FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2004 .081

Bicameralism and Government Formation


Authors: Antonio Merlo, Daniel Diermeier, Hülya Eraslan
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Type: Journal
Keywords: Political stability,Government formation,Government dissolution,Bicameralism,Comparative constitutional design
JEL n.: D72,H19,C73
JEL: Quarterly Journal of Political Science
Pages: Vol. 2, No. 3, pp 227-252
Date: 2007

Abstract

In this paper we present a structural approach to the study of government formation in multi-party parliamentary democracies. The approach is based on the estimation of a stochastic bargaining model which we use to investigate the effects of specific institutional features of parliamentary democracy on the formation and stability of coalition governments. We then apply our methodology to estimate the effects of governmental bicameralism. Our main findings are that eliminating bicameralism does not affect government durability, but does have a significant effect on the composition of governments leading to smaller coalitions. These results are due to an equilibrium replacement effect: removing bicameralism affects the relative durability of coalitions of different sizes which in turn induces changes in the coalitions that are chosen in equilibrium.

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