The inefficient secret revisited: the legislative input and output of Brazilian deputies

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Shugart and Carey (1992) posit that presidential democracies in which legislators have a parochial focus of representation are electorally inefficient because voters are not offered highly identifiable choices over national policies. Such systems are driven by an inefficient secret, which is essentially a nonpartisan representation of the policy process. To check the propositions of the inefficient secret model (ISM), this article investigates the aggregation level, effect, and subject of Brazilian deputies' legislative input and output. Our empirical analysis indicates that, although some ISM-related factors drive legislative output, there is partisanship in deputies' legislative input. This result means that the ISM underestimates the prospects for programmatic parties (especially in opposition) to emerge within systems where the electoral and constitutional rules encourage particularism.

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