September 18, 2021

Constraining a Shadowy Future: Enacting APAs in Parliamentary Systems Abstract


As the key mechanism supporting policy bargaining between executives and legislatures, few political institutions are as central to theories of lawmaking as the executive veto. Despite its importance, institutional continuity at the national level has precluded identification of empirical effects of the veto on legislative behavior. We address this limitation and present evidence from the states demonstrating how the veto affects the formation of legislative coalitions and gubernatorial influence over policymaking. First, we evaluate how the addition of the veto in North Carolina in 1997 affected legislative voting patterns. Second, we leverage across state variation in veto override requirements to identify their effects on legislative coalition sizes in the 1999-2000 legislative sessions. We find consistent evidence that the presence and strength of gubernatorial veto powers affect the lawmaking behavior of state legislatures. Our analysis shows how institutional provisions condition executives’ ability to affect policy outcomes in separation of powers systems.

Pre-print Draft