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Legislative bargaining and the dynamics of public investment

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  • Battaglini, Marco
  • Nunnari, Salvatore
  • Palfrey, Thomas

Abstract

We present a legislative bargaining model of the provision of a durable public good over an infinite horizion. In each period, there is a societal endowment which can either be invested in the public good or consumed. We characterize the optimal public policy, defined by the time path of investment and consumption. In each period, a legislature with presentatives of each of n districts bargain over the current period's endowment for investment in the public good and transfers to each district. We analyze the Markov perfect equilibrium under different voting q-rules where q is the number of yes votes required for passage. We show that the efficiency of the public policy is increasing in q because higher q leads to higher investment in the public good and less pork. We examine the theoretical equilibrium predictions by conducting a laboratory experiment with fiveperson committees that compares three alternative voting rules: unanimity (q=5); majority (q=3); and dictatorship (q=1). --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2011-205.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2011205

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Keywords: dynamic political economy; voting; public goods; bargaining; experiments;

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  1. Choi, Syngjoo & Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar & Palfrey, Thomas, 2011. "Network architecture, salience and coordination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 76-90, September.
  2. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2008. "Political Economy of Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 619-641, 05.
  4. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132, 01.
  5. Pedro Dal Bo & Guillaume R. Frochette, 2011. "The Evolution of Cooperation in Infinitely Repeated Games: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 411-29, February.
  6. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2010. "Pork Versus Public Goods: An Experimental Study of Public Good Provision Within a Legislative Bargaining Framework," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/37, European University Institute.
  7. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2010. "Minimum winning coalitions and endogenous status quo," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 617-643, October.
  8. Richard T. Boylan & Richard D. McKelvey & John Ledyard, 1996. "Political competition in a model of economic growth: Some theoretical results (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 191-205.
  9. Pedro Dal B�, 2005. "Cooperation under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1591-1604, December.
  10. Boylan, Richard T & McKelvey, Richard D, 1995. "Voting over Economic Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 860-71, September.
  11. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1515, Econometric Society.
  12. Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2006. "Sequential Equilibrium in Monotone Games: Theory-Based Analysis of Experimental Data," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000278, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. B�rd Harstad, 2005. "Majority Rules and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1535-1568, November.
  14. Barseghyan, Levon & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2013. "Fiscal policy over the real business cycle: A positive theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2223-2265.
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Cited by:
  1. Vincent Anesi & Daniel J. Seidmann, 2011. "Bargaining over an Endogenous Agenda," Discussion Papers 2011-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Dina Tasneem & Jim Engle-Warnick & Hassan Benchekroun, 2014. "An Experimental Study of a Common Property Renewable Resource Game in Continuous Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-09, CIRANO.
  3. Jörg Spiller & Friedel Bolle, 2013. "Inter-Generational Thoughtfulness in a Dynamic Public Good Experiment," Discussion Paper Series RECAP15 008, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).
  4. 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.
  5. Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Jeremiah Hurley & Stuart Mestelman & Stephanie Thomas & David Cameron, 2013. "Support for Public Provision with Top-Up and Opt-Out: A Controlled Laboratory Experiment," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-15, McMaster University.
  6. Battaglini, Marco, 2014. "A dynamic theory of electoral competition," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
  7. Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas Palfrey, 2012. "The Free Rider Problem: a Dynamic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 17926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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