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Forming Stable Coalitions: The Process Matters

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  • Steven J. Brams

    (Department of Politics, New York University, U.S.A.)

  • Michael A. Jones

    (Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State University, U.S.A.)

  • D.Marc Kilgour

    (Department of Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

Abstract

Players are assumed to rank each other as coalition partners. Two processes of coalition formation are defined and illustrated: i) Fallback (FB): Players seek coalition partners by descending lower and lower in their preference rankings until some majority coalition, all of whose members consider each other mutually acceptable, forms. ii) Build-up (BU):Same descent as FB, except only majorities whose members rank each other highest form coalitions. BU coalitions are stable in the sense that no member would prefer to be in another coalition, whereas FB coalitions, whose members need not rank each other highest, may not be stable. BU coalitions are bimodally distributed in a random society, with peaks around simple majority and unanimity the distributions of majorities in the US Supreme Count and in the US House of Representatives follow this pattern. The dynamics of real-life coalition-formation processes are illustrated by two Supreme Court cases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.97.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.97

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Keywords: Coalition dynamics; Fallback bargaining; Manipulability; Legislatures; US Supreme Court;

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  1. Greenberg Joseph & Weber Shlomo, 1993. "Stable Coalition Structures with a Unidimensional Set of Alternatives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 62-82, June.
  2. Antonio Romero-Medina & Katari´na Cechlárová, 2001. "Stability in coalition formation games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 487-494.
  3. Greenberg, J. & Weber, S., 1991. "Stable Coalition Structure with Unidimensional Set of Alternatives," Papers 91-11, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Annelies De Ridder & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2008. "On Some Procedures of Forming a Multi-partner Alliance," Post-Print halshs-00406461, HAL.
  2. Asheim , Geir B. & Claussen , Carl Andreas & Nilssen, Tore, 2005. "Majority voting leads to unanimity," Memorandum 02/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Steven Brams & Gustavo Camilo & Alexandra Franz, 2014. "Coalition formation on the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969–2009," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 525-539, March.
  4. Eligius Hendrix & Annelies De Ridder & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Elena Saiz, 2013. "Coalition formation: the role of procedure and policy flexibility," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00666849, HAL.
  5. Manfred J. Holler & Stefan Napel, 2004. "Monotonicity of power and power measures," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 56(2_2), pages 93-111, 02.
  6. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Patrik Eklund & Harrie De Swart, 2007. "Consensus reaching in committees," Post-Print halshs-00159838, HAL.
  7. Marc Kilgour & Steven J. Brams, 2009. "Kingmakers and Leaders in Coalition Formation," Working Papers 2009.41, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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