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A theory of gridlock: Strategic behavior in legislative deliberations

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  • Evan Osborne

Abstract

This paper studies compromise and inflexibility in political negotiations. It provides the first analysis of gridlock, a result in which politicians fail to agree on an ideal compromise but which most voters find preferable to the status quo. A multistage game is developed in which contending political blocs choose from hardline or compromise strategies. The outcomes—compromise, gridlock, or one party's ideal legislation—are a function of the incentives of political actors to cooperate or fight. The model illustrates problems in political markets that may occur when consumers are poorly informed. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 1998

Suggested Citation

  • Evan Osborne, 1998. "A theory of gridlock: Strategic behavior in legislative deliberations," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(3), pages 238-251, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:26:y:1998:i:3:p:238-251 DOI: 10.1007/BF02299342
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 18-32.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:02:p:331-343_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 18-32.
    9. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
    10. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1979. "Bureaucrats Versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-587.
    11. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
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