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Non-optimal unanimous agreement under majority rule: Reply


  • Randall Holcombe


I agree with Lee that the possibility for stable less-than-unanimous coalitions exists; however, there are compelling reasons why unanimous coalitions will be more stable. Game-theoretic models often do not have the clear-cut answers that simple maximization problems do, and this is one factor that makes the study of political coalitions interesting. Lee has raised some good issues regarding the applicability of my model of non-optimal unanimous agreement. Examining the arguments on both sides, I believe that my model is more descriptive than Lee's alternative model of coalitions that exclude some people who want to join. I will close by reiterating a fundamental point from my original article on which Lee and I agree: unless a unanimous decision rule is used, unanimous agreement does not imply that a Pareto-superior move is made. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Suggested Citation

  • Randall Holcombe, 1989. "Non-optimal unanimous agreement under majority rule: Reply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 89-92, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:62:y:1989:i:1:p:89-92
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00168018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Stigler, 1972. "Economic competition and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 91-106, September.
    2. Randall Holcombe, 1989. "A note on seniority and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 285-288, June.
    3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    4. Randall Holcombe, 1986. "Non-optimal unanimous agreement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 229-244, January.
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