The Elusive Authority of Argentina’s Congress: Decrees, Statutes, and Veto Incidence, 1983-1994
52 Pages Posted: 7 May 2009
Date Written: August 15, 2001
I analyze the legislative process in Argentina in the first decade that followed the return to democracy. The period was characterized by an intense use of executive decree authority to adopt policy unilaterally, something many took as evidence that presidential authority has revoked inter-branch exchange, checks, and balances. By combining the decree and statute processes in a single model of policy I am able to document two forms of selection bias, one due to looking at decrees in isolation from statutes, another to overlooking bills that did not make it out of Congress successfully. Joint evidence shows that Congress issued vetoes on executive-initiated policy much more often than the reverse, and that 4 out of 5 times a veto was effective in killing policy the killing agent was Congress, not the president. Although the decree power allows the president to do many things, it has limits.
Keywords: Executive decrees, separation of power, congressional abdication
JEL Classification: D72, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation