Cabinets and Legislative Cartels in Uruguay: Examining the Legislative Consequences of Government Formation

Daniel Chasquetti


Since the return to democracy, Uruguayan presidents have built cabinets of varying natures (majority and minority coalitions, majority and minority parties). Most studies on presidential government assume that the partisan composition of a cabinet is a good predictor of the performance of a government’s legislative program. In this paper I test this hypothesis using Cox and McCubbins’ (1993, 2005) party cartel theory. The results confirm that six of the eight presidential cabinets’ legislative performances were consistent with theoretical expectations, while two were deviant cases. This article also provides a theoretical explanation for these two outliers, highlighting the importance of legislative parties, the presidential style of government, and preferences as regards legislative initiative.

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