A Theory of Competitive Partisan Lawmaking

56 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2014

See all articles by Keith Krehbiel

Keith Krehbiel

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Adam Meirowitz

Yale University

Alan E. Wiseman

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 7, 2014


Motivated by polar extremes of monopartisanship and nonpartisanship in existing literature on parties in legislatures, we introduce and analyze a more moderate theory of competitive partisan lawmaking. The distinguishing feature of competitive partisanship is that the minority party, although disadvantaged, has some guaranteed opportunities to influence lawmaking. Our analytic framework focuses on two dimensions of parties in legislatures: agenda-based competition, operationalized as a minority party right to make an amendment to the majority party's proposal, and resource-based competition, characterized as the ability of both party leaders to use transferable resources when building winning or blocking coalitions. Building on the canonical model we find that giving voice to the minority party in either one of these ways alone results in outcomes that, on the whole, are less lopsided and more-moderate than those predicted by the existing monopartisan and nonpartisan theories.

Keywords: Legislatures, parties, vote-buying, party competition, lawmaking, legislative organization

Suggested Citation

Krehbiel, Keith and Meirowitz, Adam and Wiseman, Alan E., A Theory of Competitive Partisan Lawmaking (November 7, 2014). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 13-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2337757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2337757

Keith Krehbiel (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Adam Meirowitz

Yale University ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

Alan E. Wiseman

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science ( email )

VU Station B #351817
Nashville, TN 37235-1817
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics