Executive Control and Legislative Success
41 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2008 Last revised: 18 Aug 2012
Date Written: November 2009
The higher legislative success of parliamentary governments relative to presidential governments has been used to argue that legislative success is driven by parliamentary governments' superior agenda power or their control of legislative majorities. We show that this approach is at odds with some of the empirical regularities across and within political systems. We then propose a legislative bargaining model to elucidate this puzzle. In the model the policies of a confidence-dependent parliamentary government enjoy less uncertain support from governing coalition members, because their short-term policy goals are less important than the government's survival. This support is stronger when the government has more agenda power and is weaker with a larger ruling coalition. We explore the empirical implications of these findings and their consequences for the comparative study of political institutions.
Keywords: executive power, legislative success rates, legislative bargaining, confidence vote
JEL Classification: D72, D78, C72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation