Electoral Rules and Committee Systems in the Models of Governance of Congress: a Comparative Institutional Analysis

Gonzalo Caballero (University of Vigo)

Abstract: Legislative organization matters for policy-making, and political rules determine the role of property rights, hierarchies, individual deputies, parliamentary groups, transactions and committees in the industrial organization of Congress. A relevant research program on legislative institutions has studied the different elements of the industrial organization of Congress, analyzing the relationship between institutions, incentives and transactions in the legislative organizations. This paper presents a comparative institutional analysis among several types of industrial organization of Congress, and it studies how political and electoral rules and the Committee systems establish the governance structure of legislative organization. While the American Congress represents a prototype model of Congress in which the congressmen have strong property rights that facilitate the legislative transaction (in base of a more candidate-based electoral politics with powerful committees and individual property rights), this paper presents a map of the hybrid organizational structures that exist in different democratic countries around the world. This comparative analysis shows how the electoral rules and the committee systems affect the incentives of legislators, the structure of parliamentary governance and the policy-making.