Bicameralism and Policy Performance: International Experiences & Implications for Hong Kong

Project: Research

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  • Ming Dixon SING (Principal Investigator / Project Coordinator)


Amid the ongoing heated debates on Hong Kong’s democratic reform, there have been increasing calls for studying bicameralism as a middle-ground solution to address the local tensions over democratization. Bicameralism is a potentially middle-ground solution as it may contain an upper chamber with functional constituencies valued by business sectors, and a lower chamber with all seats elected via universal suffrage cherished by pro-democracy forces. Does bicameralism suit Hong Kong, and if so, which form of bicameralism suits us best? To answer these questions, this research will first classify legislatures as bicameral versus unicameral in 172 countries for 1950–2000 and then uses Lijphart’s classification of the “strengths” of 36 OECD and non-OECD legislatures in the world (Lijphart, 1999) for 1946–1996. Then it will quantitatively investigate two major problems for answering the aforementioned questions:do bicameral legislatures outperform unicameral ones in promoting overall regime stability from 1950 to 2000 globally?among the 172 legislatures in the world, do bicameral legislatures outperform unicameral ones in economic performance and government effectiveness?


Project number7002066
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0716/04/07