Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 2 > Issue 3

Bicameralism and Government Formation

Daniel Diermeier, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA, d-diermeier@kellogg.northwestern.edu , Hülya Eraslan, Finance Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, eraslan@wharton.upenn.edu , Antonio Merlo, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and CEPR, USA, merloa@econ.upenn.edu
Suggested Citation
Daniel Diermeier, Hülya Eraslan and Antonio Merlo (2007), "Bicameralism and Government Formation", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 2: No. 3, pp 227-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00005004

Publication Date: 13 Aug 2007
© 2007 D. Diermeier, H. Eraslan and A. Merlo
Legislatures,  Formal modelling,  Lawmaking


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Data and Estimation 


In this paper we present a structural approach to the study of government formation in multi-party parliamentary democracies. The approach is based on the estimation of a stochastic bargaining model which we use to investigate the effects of specific institutional features of parliamentary democracy on the formation and stability of coalition governments. We then apply our methodology to estimate the effects of governmental bicameralism. Our main findings are that eliminating bicameralism does not affect government durability, but does have a significant effect on the composition of governments leading to smaller coalitions. These results are due to an equilibrium replacement effect: removing bicameralism affects the relative durability of coalitions of different sizes which in turn induces changes in the coalitions that are chosen in equilibrium.