Constraining a Shadowy Future: Enacting APAs in Parliamentary Systems

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Single-party parliamentary governments often have no institutional checks on their authority. Such governments can pass and implement policies constrained only by the need to maintain party loyalty and win elections. Literature on delegation suggests that such governments would never adopt reforms such as Administrative Procedures Acts (APAs) that are designed to constrain this freedom. Nevertheless, such governments do pass APAs: Greece, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden have all done so in the past 30 years. We argue that the possibility of losing power motivates parliamentary governments, both single-party and coalition, to trade current policy loss for future gain with APAs