Iaryczower, Matias and Katz, Gabriel and Saiegh, Sebastian
Voting in the Bicameral Congress: Large Majorities as a Signal of Quality.
We estimate a model of voting in Congress that allows for dispersed information
about the quality of proposals in an equilibrium context. The results highlight the
effects of bicameralism on policy outcomes. In equilibrium, the Senate imposes an
endogenous supermajority rule on members of the House. We estimate this super-
majority rule to be about four-fifths on average across policy areas. Moreover, our
results indicate that the value of the information dispersed among legislators is significant, and that in equilibrium a large fraction of House members (40-50 %) vote in
accordance with their private information. Taken together, our results imply a highly
conservative Senate, in the sense that proposals are enacted into law only when it is
extremely likely that their quality is high.
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