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Reciprocity and resistance to comprehensive reform

Listed author(s):
  • Urs Fischbacher

    ()

  • Simeon Schudy

    ()

Comprehensive reforms often fail, despite being beneficial to society. Politicians may block comprehensive reforms in an attempt to form vote trading coalitions in which they benefit from a piecemeal reform at the expense of others. Because formal commitment devices for vote trading are frequently missing, trust and reciprocity among legislators can play an important role for vote trading. We investigate in a laboratory experiment whether legislators will impede comprehensive reforms in an attempt to form vote trading coalitions even if formal commitment devices for vote trading after reform failure are missing. We find that open ballots allow for vote trading without commitment, based on trust and reciprocity. In turn, legislators frequently reject efficient comprehensive reforms in such institutions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-013-0097-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 160 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 411-428

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:160:y:2014:i:3:p:411-428
DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0097-3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/public+finance/journal/11127/PS2

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