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Repeated Agenda Setting and the Unanimous Approval of Bad Policies

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  • Dahm, Matthias
  • Glazer, Amihai

Abstract

This paper addresses the puzzle of why legislation, even highly inefficient legislation, may pass with overwhelming majorities. We model a egislature in which the same agenda setter serves for two periods, showing how he can exploit a legislature (completely) in the first period by romising future benefits to legislators who support him. In equilibrium, large majority of legislators vote for the first-period proposal because a ote in favor maintains the chance for membership in the minimum winning coalition in the future. The model thus generates situations in which egislators approve policies by large majorities, or even unanimously, that enefit few, or even none, of them. The results are robust: some institutional arrangements, such as super-majority rules or sequential voting, imit but do not eliminate the agenda setter's power to exploit the legislature, and other institutions such as secret voting do not limit his power.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/151549
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/151549.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/151549

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Keywords: Política i govern; Legislació; Administració pública -- Planificació; 32 - Política;

References

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  1. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  2. Daniel Diermeier & Pohan Fong, 2011. "Legislative Bargaining with Reconsideration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 947-985.
  3. David M. Primo, 2002. "Rethinking Political Bargaining: Policymaking with a Single Proposer," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 411-427, October.
  4. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1990. " The Power of the Proposal Maker in a Model of Endogenous Agenda Formation," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 1-20, January.
  5. Glazer, Amihai & McMillan, Henry, 1992. " Amend the Old or Address the New: Broad-Based Legislation When Proposing Policies Is Costly," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 43-58, July.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel & Luis Rayo, 2006. "The Power of the Last Word in Legislative Policy Making," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1161-1190, 09.
  7. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 3611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Dennis Epple & Michael Riordan, 1987. "Cooperation and punishment under repeated majority voting," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 41-73, September.
  9. Binmore, Ken & Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1992. "Noncooperative models of bargaining," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 179-225 Elsevier.
  10. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Rozevitch, Shimon & Weiss, Avi, 1993. " Beneficiaries from Federal Transfers to Municipalities: The Case of Israel," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 335-46, August.
  12. Tsung‐Sheng Tsai & C. C. Yang, 2010. "On Majoritarian Bargaining With Incomplete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 959-979, November.
  13. Christopher Cotton, 2010. "Dynamic Legislative Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda Setting Authority," Working Papers, University of Miami, Department of Economics 2010-20, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
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