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Rethinking Political Bargaining: Policymaking with a Single Proposer

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  • David M. Primo

Abstract

Most political bargaining in the U.S. system has two features which are constitutionally mandated: (1) only one actor can make a formal proposal, and (2) he or she can make an indefinite number of proposals. Existing work in economics and political science ignores at least one of these features. I construct a model incorporating both of these components of political bargaining. The main finding of this article is that time preferences and the number of periods have no effect on the equilibrium policy outcomes, which are identical to those first stated by Romer and Rosenthal in a one-period model. This result suggests that impatience and time preferences may not be key features of political bargaining. This model has implications for constitutional and statutory rules regarding bargaining: it can be applied to presidential appointments, legislation, citizen initiatives, vetoes and filibusters (e.g., Krehbiel's pivotal politics model), and term limits. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Primo, 2002. "Rethinking Political Bargaining: Policymaking with a Single Proposer," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 411-427, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:18:y:2002:i:2:p:411-427
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    Cited by:

    1. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2004. "Proposal Rights and Political Power," Wallis Working Papers WP38, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    2. Etienne Farvaque & Norimichi Matsueda & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2007. "How committees reduce the volatility of policy rates," DULBEA Working Papers 07-11.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Dahm, Matthias & Glazer, Amihai, 2015. "A carrot and stick approach to agenda-setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 465-480.
    4. Cho, Seok-ju & Duggan, John, 2009. "Bargaining foundations of the median voter theorem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 851-868, March.
    5. Matthias Dahm & Amihai Glazer, 2012. "How An Agenda Setter Induces Legislators to Adopt Policies They Oppose," Working Papers 111211, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    6. Farvaque, Etienne & Matsueda, Norimichi & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2009. "How monetary policy committees impact the volatility of policy rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 534-546, December.
    7. Dahm, Matthias & Glazer, Amihai, 2010. "Repeated Agenda Setting and the Unanimous Approval of Bad Policies," Working Papers 2072/151549, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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