facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Party competition helps states

Feb. 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM   |   Comments

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A strong two-party system in U.S. states is the best check on pork barrel spending and special interest legislation, university researchers say.

The study published in American Political Science Review also said low salaries for state legislators act as a check on bills benefiting small groups of people.

Thad Kousser, a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Gerald Gamm, an associate professor of political science and history at the University of Rochester, examined state legislatures for the past 120 years. They found the bigger the edge a majority party had, the more special-interest legislation passed.

"For healthy policy, an ounce of competition is worth a pound of cure," Gamm said. "Stiff competition gives political parties a greater incentive to build their collective reputation with statewide legislation and less incentive to focus on localized, non-programmatic politics."

Gamm and Kouser said increasing legislative pay has often been touted as a reform. But they found highly paid legislators have a greater incentive to keep their jobs, which leads to more bills aimed at helping their districts at the expense of the rest of the state.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus
2
Conservative darling Ben Carson considering 2016 bid Conservative darling Ben Carson considering 2016 bid
3
$900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station $900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station
4
Body of missing realtor Beverly Carter found Body of missing realtor Beverly Carter found
5
Hiker trapped by flash flood dies in Zion National Park
Trending News
x
Feedback