Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Political Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation examines how separation of powers and competitive elections affect the policymaking process at its various stages. First, I explore how the super-majoritarian rule in the legislature, which is the consequence of separation of powers, affects votersˆa elec

toral decisions, which in turn indirectly affects the policy outcome. I demonstrate that the super-majoritarian rule of the legislative policymaking process creates not only a legislative gridlock but also incentives that lead some districts to strategically elect more ideologically extreme delegates in certain circumstances, which expands the legislative gridlock region. Second, I examine when competitive elections can restrain the president’s unilateral policymaking power. The key innovation is that the president’s exercise of unilateral policymaking power reduces the turnout of the president’s supporters in the election, which restrain the president’s unilateral action when the election is sufficiently competitive. Finally, I examine how separation of powers affect voters’ welfare during the policy implementation stage. A central finding of the essay is that separation of powers can improve voters’ welfare by mitigating the malign effects of electoral competition: the incumbent presidentˆas underfunding to avoid the electoral risks associated with policy implementation. Specifically, separation of powers can improve the effectiveness of policy implementation by placing the power of the purse to one who has to provide larger funds for policy implementation to win the election.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Randall Calvert

Committee Members

Justin Fox, Andrew Reeves, Keith Schnakenberg, Scott A. Baker,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/dmr0-5y57