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Gaining power through enlargement: Strategic foundations and experimental evidence

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  • Drouvelis, Michalis
  • Montero, Maria
  • Sefton, Martin

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 and 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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  • Drouvelis, Michalis & Montero, Maria & Sefton, Martin, 2010. "Gaining power through enlargement: Strategic foundations and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 274-292, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:69:y:2010:i:2:p:274-292
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    1. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:60-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eraslan, Hülya & McLennan, Andrew, 2013. "Uniqueness of stationary equilibrium payoffs in coalitional bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2195-2222.
    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. Nunnari, Salvatore & Zapal, Jan, 2016. "Gambler's fallacy and imperfect best response in legislative bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 275-294.
    5. Miller, Luis & Vanberg, Christoph, 2015. "Group size and decision rules in legislative bargaining," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 288-302.
    6. Agranov, Marina & Tergiman, Chloe, 2014. "Communication in multilateral bargaining," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 75-85.
    7. de Groot Ruiz, Adrian & Ramer, Roald & Schram, Arthur, 2016. "Formal versus informal legislative bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-17.
    8. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2014. "Reference Dependent Altruism," MPRA Paper 52774, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Miller, Luis & Montero, Maria & Vanberg, Christoph, 2018. "Legislative bargaining with heterogeneous disagreement values: Theory and experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 60-92.
    11. Maaser, Nicola & Traub, Stefan & Paetzel, Fabian, 2017. "Power illusion in coalitional bargaining: An experimental analysis," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168155, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Denise Laroze & David Hugh-Jones & Arndt Leininger, 2015. "The impact of group identity on coalition formation," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2015-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    13. 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.
    14. Changxia Ke & Florian Morath & Anthony Newell & Lionel Page, 2016. "Too big to prevail: Coalition formations in the presence of a superpower," QuBE Working Papers 044, QUT Business School.
    15. Vespa, Emanuel I., 2016. "Malapportionment and multilateral bargaining: An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 64-74.
    16. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2011. "Ultimata bargaining: generosity without social motives," MPRA Paper 33613, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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