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.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Oregon girl dies at beach after sand pit collapse
2
Ukraine warns of "full-scale war"
3
Israel claims West Bank acreage for development
4
Germany to send arms to Kurds
5
Malaysia Airlines cuts fares after disasters
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback