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The Industrial Organization of Congress in USA and Spain: A Comparative Institutional Analysis

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Abstract:

The institutional and organizational details framing legislative processes are key aspects for understanding how Congresses work. From a new institutional economics perspective, this paper comparatively examines how the Spanish and USA Congresses are organized. The main purpose of the paper is to unveil the so-called “black box” factors operating in each case. The role played by property rights, hierarchy, individual deputies, leadership, transactions costs and committees will be researched. Whereas committees and decision-making rules based on a property rights system are key factors for understanding how the Congress performs in USA; in the Spanish case the most relevant explanatory factors are strong party leadership and the hierarchical rules by which political parties and parlamentary groups are organized.

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