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Decision costs in legislative bargaining: An experimental analysis

  • Luis Miller

    ()

    (Centre for Experimental Social Sciences, Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

  • Christoph Vanberg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Cambridge)

We conduct an experiment to assess the effects of different decision rules on the costs of decision making in a multilateral bargaining situation. Specifically, we compare the amount of costly delay observed in an experimental bargaining game under majority and unanimity rule. Our main finding is that individual subjects are more likely to reject offers under unanimity rule. This increased rejection rate, as well as the requirement that all subjects agree, leads to more costly delay. This result provides empirical support for a classic argument in favor of less-than-unanimity decision rules put forth by Buchanan and Tullock (1962).

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File URL: http://cess-wb.nuff.ox.ac.uk/documents/DP2011/CESS_DP2011_002.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Nuffield College in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011002.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cex:dpaper:2011002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cess-wb.nuff.ox.ac.uk/
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  1. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  2. John Kagel & Hankyoung Sung & Eyal Winter, 2010. "Veto power in committees: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 167-188, June.
  3. Frechette, Guillaume & Kagel, John H. & Morelli, Massimo, 2005. "Nominal bargaining power, selection protocol, and discounting in legislative bargaining," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1497-1517, August.
  4. G Frechette & J Kagel & M Morelli, 2004. "Behavioral Identification in Coalition Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis of Demand Bargaining and Alternating Offers," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000006, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Diermeier, Daniel & Gailmard, Sean, 2006. "Self-Interest, Inequality, and Entitlement in Majoritarian Decision-Making," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 327-350, October.
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