Are Legislative Majorities Successful in Translating their Policy Preferences into Policy Outcomes? A Bayesian Cross-National Analysis
Wednesday, March 15
Nau Hall Room 342
Abstract: In separation of powers systems, in theory, legislative and executive branches must concur for policies to be enacted. However, empirical research, especially on Latin American cases, suggests that rather than reaching a compromise, it is common for the executive to make the decisions while the legislature remains marginalized from the policymaking process. To the contrary, I argue that the formal powers ascribed to the president and the assembly, in interaction with their ideological divergence, can be used to understand important policy choices, including the allocation of government expenditures. I explore the success of the legislative majority at determining spending priorities with a Bayesian Hierarchical Binomial model. Looking at 12 Latin American democracies for the past 20 years, I find that when the median member and the president ideologically diverge, the spending priorities of the majority are likely to be reflected in budget outcomes, but only under certain institutional designs.