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On Dynamic Compromise

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  • Bowen, T. Renee

    (Stanford University)

  • Zahran, Zaki

    (Research and Innovation Centre, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, London)

Abstract

What prevents majorities from extracting surplus from minorities in legislatures? We study an infinite horizon game where a legislative body votes to determine distributive policy each period. Proposals accepted by a simple majority are implemented, otherwise the status quo allocation prevails. We construct a symmetric Markov perfect equilibrium that exhibits compromise in the following sense: if the initial status quo allocation is "not too unequal", then the Markov process is absorbed into allocations in which more than a minimum winning majority receives a positive share of the social surplus with positive probability. The compromise is only sustainable if, starting from the "unequal" allocations, the Markov process is absorbed into allocations in which there is a complete absence of compromise. The compromise equilibrium exists when discounting is neither too small nor too large. We find that, contrary to intuition, the range of discount factors for which this equilibrium exists increases as the number of legislators increases. In this sense, compromise is easier in larger legislatures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2020.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2020

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References

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  1. Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Anke Gerber, 1998. "Political compromise and endogenous formation of coalitions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 445-454.
  2. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2004. "Bargaining over Randomly Generated Offers: A new Perspective on Multi-Party Bargaining," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000739, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Duggan, John & Kalandrakis, Tasos, 2012. "Dynamic legislative policy making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1653-1688.
  4. Matthew Haag & Roger Lagunoff, 2010. "On the Size and Structure of Group cooperation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000043, David K. Levine.
  5. Pecorino, Paul, 1999. "The effect of group size on public good provision in a repeated game setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 121-134, April.
  6. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 2000. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 46-79, September.
  7. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-36, March.
  8. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2010. "Minimum winning coalitions and endogenous status quo," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 617-643, October.
  9. Marco Battaglini & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Dynamics of Distributive Politics," Discussion Papers 1451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  11. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
  12. Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2011. "Legislative Bargaining with Reconsideration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 947-985.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Battaglini & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Dynamics of Distributive Politics," Discussion Papers 1451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, EconWPA.
  3. Jean Guillaume Forand, 2010. "Two-Party Competition with Persistent Policies," Working Papers 1011, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2010.
  4. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2010. "Minimum winning coalitions and endogenous status quo," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 617-643, October.
  5. David Baron & Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2012. "A dynamic theory of parliamentary democracy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 703-738, April.
  6. Pohan Fong, 2008. "Endogenous Limits on Proposal Power," Discussion Papers 1465, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Vincent Anesi & Daniel J Seidmann, 2012. "Bargaining in Standing Committees," Discussion Papers 2012-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2011. "Legislative Bargaining with Reconsideration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 947-985.

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