We reexamine the major tenets of the informational theory of legislative rules, focusing on the informational efficiency of rules with varying degrees of restrictiveness. When committees are heterogeneous, full efficiency is attainable under the unrestrictive open rule as well as the somewhat restrictive modified rule. In contrast, the restrictive closed rule always leads to inefficiencies. When committees are homogeneous, the situation is different. All equilibria are inefficient regardless of legislative rules, but the closed rule leads to greater informational efficiency than does the open rule. Furthermore, the efficiency gains under the closed rule more than offset distributional losses regardless of the degree of preference divergence. We also examine the incentives provided by the different rules for information acquisition and committee specialization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations