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Ministerial Weights and Government Formation: Estimation Using a Bargaining Model


  • Yasutora Watanabe
  • Takanori Adachi


This paper proposes a method to estimate relative ministerial weights in parliamentary democracies. Specifically, our method combines a bargaining model of government formation with maximum likelihood estimation. The data required for estimation are who formateurs are, what each party’s voting weight is, and what ministerial seats each party obtains. We use variation of the data and the structure of the bargaining model to recover ministerial weights and other parameters. Additionally, the method can measure the effects of voting weights and formateur advantage. We apply our proposed method to the case of Japan. Our results statistically show that political players value pork-related posts (such as the Minister of Construction) more than prestigious ones (such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs). We also find that there is a significant formateur advantage, while voting weights do not have a significant scale effect

Suggested Citation

  • Yasutora Watanabe & Takanori Adachi, 2004. "Ministerial Weights and Government Formation: Estimation Using a Bargaining Model," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 742, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:742

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Merlo, Antonio, 1997. "Bargaining over Governments in a Stochastic Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 101-131, February.
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    13. 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.
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    15. John Sutton, 1986. "Non-Cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 709-724.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masanori Mitsutsune & Takanori Adachi, 2014. "Estimating noncooperative and cooperative models of bargaining: an empirical comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 669-693, September.
    2. Eraslan, Hülya & McLennan, Andrew, 2013. "Uniqueness of stationary equilibrium payoffs in coalitional bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2195-2222.
    3. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    4. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Asongu Simplice, 2016. "State fragility, rent seeking and lobbying: evidence from African data," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(10), pages 1016-1030, October.
    5. Akira Okada, 2015. "Cooperation and Institution in Games," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 1-32, March.
    6. Tomohiko Kawamori, 2013. "Rejecter-proposer legislative bargaining with heterogeneous time and risk preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 27-40, January.
    7. Patrick Francois & Ilia Rainer & Francesco Trebbi, 2015. "How Is Power Shared in Africa?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 465-503, March.

    More about this item


    Government Formation; Bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H19 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Other

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