This paper studies the impact of bicameralism on the level of corruption of elected officials. The relationship between parliamentary organization and corruption is analyzed in a two-period game between legislators, citizens and a lobby group, which delivers several predictions that we empirically investigate using a panel of 35 democracies during the period 1996–2004. Assuming that legislators choose a multidimensional policy on which citizens and a lobby group have opposing interests, we show that bicameralism improves the accountability of legislators to the electorate when the same party controls the two chambers and party polarization is high, while the opposite holds if the two chambers are controlled by different parties. These predictions find strong support in our empirical analysis.

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European Economic Review
Erasmus School of Economics

Testa, C. (2010). Bicameralism and corruption. European Economic Review, 54(2), 181–198. doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2009.04.010