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Optimal agenda-setter timing


  • Mattias K. Polborn
  • Gerald Willmann


We analyze the optimal timing problem of an agenda setter who can propose a project that is then voted on by a committee. The payoff consists of a common stochastic component and an idiosyncratic component that differs among committee members. The agenda setter may be biased for or against the project, relative to the median committee member, and chooses when to call the vote. We analyze how the timing decision depends on the political environment and the bias of the agenda setter. We show that both positively and negatively biased agenda setters can implement decisions that differ from those preferred by the median committee member.

Suggested Citation

  • Mattias K. Polborn & Gerald Willmann, 2009. "Optimal agenda-setter timing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1527-1546, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:4:p:1527-1546

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making


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