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Public Choice

, Volume 96, Issue 3–4, pp 363–380 | Cite as

First branch, or root? the Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve

  • Irwin Morris
  • Michael Munger
Article

Abstract

Much of the literature on the power of elected officials and bureaucratic agencies argues, from an empirical perspective, that bureaus appears to exercise autonomy. In this paper, a theoretical model sets out the conditions under which the Congress, the President, and one agency (we use the U.S. Federal Reserve as an extended example) can dictate policy outcomes. The results of the paper include the “Congressional Dominance” theorem: If more than 2/3 of House members, and more than 2/3 of Senate members, agree on something, they get it. The theorem is obvious (the “proof” is in the U.S. Constitution), but often forgotten in the substantive literature. More realistic results are derived for situations where the preferences of members of Congress are more diverse. Powers of the President to influence policy with, and without, appointments are also analyzed.

Keywords

Theoretical Model Public Finance Federal Reserve Policy Outcome Realistic Result 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irwin Morris
    • 1
  • Michael Munger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTexas Tech UniversityLubbockU.S.A.

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