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Rules and RestraintGovernment Spending and the Design of Institutions$
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David M. Primo

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226682594

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226682617.001.0001

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Internal Enforcement

Internal Enforcement

(p.61) Chapter 4 Internal Enforcement
Rules and Restraint
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes how legislatures, like the U.S. Congress, address rule design when internal enforcement is a viable option. The entire legislature engages in enforcement via the selection of a binding amendment procedure that is tied to adherence to the rule. Legislative preferences for an open rule are so powerful that in most cases the legislature is not willing to create an enforcement procedure that induces the agenda setter to decrease spending. The rules that apply to the consideration of distributive politics bills will affect the size and allocation of spending. The difference between open and closed rules lies in the sequence of play and what has been observed at each step in the process. The increased efficiency of projects under open rules outweighs the efficiency loss from delay. A legislature's ability to limit spending depends on the tradeoff between reducing spending.

Keywords:   legislatures, U.S. Congress, rule design, internal enforcement, spending, distributive politics, open rules, tradeoff

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