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Gaining Power through Enlargement: Strategic Foundations and Experimental Evidence

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  • Michalis Drouvelis
  • Maria Montero
  • Martin Sefton

Abstract

Power indices suggest that adding new members to a voting body may affect the balance of power between the original members even if their number of votes and the decision rule remain constant. Some of the original members may actually gain even if voters are bargaining over a fixed budget. We show that this phenomenon can occur as an equilibrium of a non-cooperative bargaining game based on the Baron-Ferejohn (1989) model of legislative bargaining. We implement this game in the laboratory and find that power can be gained by adding new members as the theory predicts.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 09/30.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:09/30

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Cited by:
  1. Eraslan, Hülya & McLennan, Andrew, 2013. "Uniqueness of stationary equilibrium payoffs in coalitional bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2195-2222.
  2. Vanberg, Christoph & Miller Moya, Luis Miguel, . "Group size and decision rules in legislative bargaining," DFAEII Working Papers DFAE-II;2014-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  3. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2013. "Reference dependent altruism in demand bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 127-140.
  4. Matthias Weber, 2014. "Choosing Voting Systems behind the Veil of Ignorance: A Two-Tier Voting Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-042/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Bosman, R. & Maier, P. & Sadiraj, V. & van Winden, F., 2013. "Let me vote! An experimental study of vote rotation in committees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 32-47.
  6. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2011. "Ultimata bargaining: generosity without social motives," MPRA Paper 33613, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2014. "Reference Dependent Altruism," MPRA Paper 52774, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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