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Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy

John Charles Bradbury and W. Mark Crain
Southern Economic Journal
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Jan., 2002), pp. 646-659
DOI: 10.2307/1061723
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061723
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy
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Abstract

Early and modern scholars both presume that bicameral chambers limit the exploitation of minorities by the ruling majority similar to supermajority voting rules. We explain theoretically why bicameralism is a unique and desirable institution for protecting minority interests. The empirical analysis examines the structure of bicameralism in the American States. Using detailed data to proxy voter preferences, we find the degree of constituent homogeneity across chambers to be an important determinant of government expenditures for several budget components. Decreased constituent homogeneity tends to reduce redistributive spending and increase spending on public goods.

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