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When policy advisors cannot reach a consensus


  • Otto H. Swank

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, OCFFB, PO Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Wilko Letterie

    () (Maastricht University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, MW-ORG, P.O. Box 616, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, OCFFB, PO Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


In this paper advisors are selected by two ministers with conflicting interests in order to (1) acquire information, and (2) obtain political legitimacy concerning a project. In the end, parliament decides whether or not the project, of which the consequences are uncertain, is implemented. In principle a minister wants to appoint an advisor whose preferences are similar. However, since the advisor needs to convince the decisive player in the model, the minister may appoint an advisor whose preferences are closer to those of the agents to be persuaded. We also show when polarised advice occurs (the advisors have different preferences) and when consensual advice occurs (they have the same preferences).

Suggested Citation

  • Otto H. Swank & Wilko Letterie & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2000. "When policy advisors cannot reach a consensus," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(3), pages 439-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:17:y:2000:i:3:p:439-461
    Note: Received: 29 June 1998/Accepted: 26 May 1999

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
    2. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Jackson, Matthew O., 2002. "The Stability of Hedonic Coalition Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 201-230, February.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Coalition Formation in Political Games," NBER Working Papers 12749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Greenberg, Joseph & Weber, Shlomo, 1986. "Strong tiebout equilibrium under restricted preferences domain," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 101-117, February.
    5. Warwick, Paul V. & Druckman, James N., 2001. "Portfolio Salience and the Proportionality of Payoffs in Coalition Governments," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(04), pages 627-649, October.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:67:y:1973:i:02:p:453-469_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Frechette, Guillaume R. & Kagel, John H. & Morelli, Massimo, 2005. "Gamson's Law versus non-cooperative bargaining theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 365-390, May.
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