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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords accountability, bicameralism, corruption, lobbying, polarization
JEL Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory (jel C78), Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior (jel D72), Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government (jel H11)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2009.04.010, hdl.handle.net/1765/19993
Journal European Economic Review
Citation
Testa, C. (2010). Bicameralism and corruption. European Economic Review, 54(2), 181–198. doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2009.04.010