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A Theory of Minority and Majority Governments

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Abstract

We develop a theory of the emergence of minority and majority governments in multiparty parliamentary systems using a canonical non-cooperative bargaining model and assuming a policy space of arbitrary finite dimension, any number of political parties, and a general class of preferences over the government agreement space. Only majority governments form in the absence of significant political disagreement. Generically, minority governments form with positive probability when parties represented in parliament are ideologically polarized (or when utility from holding cabinet office is small relative to partisan political disagreement). Rather than being paradoxical, minority governments are a regular equilibrium phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy in its series Wallis Working Papers with number WP47.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp47

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Postal: University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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