Public Good Provision and Legislative Voting Cohesion: An Experimental Study
34 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 15, 2011
Legislative paralysis stemming from tenuously-held or undisciplined coalitions haunts a large number of legislatures. Parliamentary democracies use the Vote of Confidence procedure, which links the survival of a government with that of a bill, in order to discipline members of the majority. In this paper I investigate the role that the vote of confidence procedure has on public good provision and show that it has unintended negative consequences: even when efficient, public goods may be turned down in favor of earmarked projects. I use a laboratory experiment to test my model and show that the increase in voting cohesion comes at the cost of a 20% reduction in public good provision and more unequal earmarking.
Keywords: public good provision, legislative bargaining, laboratory experiment
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