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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A “separation of powers” system provides for an executive and legislature with independent powers. While only the legislature can pass bills, executive approval is commonly required for them to become law. The executive exercises veto power by withholding approval. Executive veto power is simple if the executive can only approve a bill or reject it in its entirety; it is constructive if he can amend a bill in certain ways. It is qualified if the legislature can override a veto; it is unqualified otherwise. Any such system creates a gamelike strategic interaction between the legislature and executive. The chapter provides an expository sketch of a variety of such veto games. The analysis is based on a one-dimensional spatial model given three different behavioral assumptions: sincere behavior by both the legislature and executive, strategic behavior by both, and strategic behavior coupled with the possibility of a credible veto threat by the executive. Several extensions and qualifications are briefly noted.

Keywords: executive veto, simple vs. constructive veto, qualified vs. unqualified veto, veto game, spatial model, sincere vs. strategic behavior, veto threat

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