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The Power of the Last Word in Legislative Policy Making

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Antonio Rangel
  • Luis Rayo

Abstract

We examine legislative policy making in institutions with two empirically relevant features: agenda setting occurs in real time and the default policy evolves. We demonstrate that these institutions select Condorcet winners when they exist, provided a sufficient number of individuals have opportunities to make proposals. In policy spaces with either pork barrel or pure redistributional politics (where a Condorcet winner does not exist), the last proposer is effectively a dictator or near-dictator under relatively weak conditions. Copyright The Econometric Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel & Luis Rayo, 2006. "The Power of the Last Word in Legislative Policy Making," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1161-1190, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:74:y:2006:i:5:p:1161-1190
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2006.00701.x
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