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An empirical investigation of coalitional bargaining procedures

  • Diermeier, Daniel
  • Merlo, Antonio

Models of government formation processes in multi-party democracies are unusually highly sensitive to the rules that govern the selection of formateurs. The formal literature has exclusively focused on two selection rules: selection proportional to seat share (Baron and Ferejohn 1989), and selection in order of seat share (Austen-Smith and Banks 1988). In this paper we use a new data set on government formation attempts in 12 multi-party democracies to empirically assess which selection rule most closely approximates the data. We find that while there is no empirical support for selection in order of seat share, proportional selection may serve as a good first approximation. However, our results also indicate that formateur selection exhibits a significant incumbency effect: ceteris paribus, the former prime minister's party is more likely to be selected to attempt the formation of the next government.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (March)
Pages: 783-797

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:3-4:p:783-797
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  3. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Merlo, Antonio, 1996. "Bargaining over governments in a stochastic environment," Bulletins 7476, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  5. Diermeier, Daniel & Eraslan, Hulya & Merlo, Antonio, 2002. "Coalition governments and comparative constitutional design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 893-907, May.
  6. Persson, Torsten & Roland , Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Seminar Papers 633, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "Towards micropolitical foundations of public finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 685-694, May.
  8. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 1998. "Government turnover in parliamentary democracies," Bulletins 7453, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  11. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
  12. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "Analyzing the case for government intervention in a representative democracy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2113, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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