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When to Coalesce: Early versus Late Coalition Announcement in an Experimental Democracy

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  • Robert E. Goodin
  • Rupert Sausgruber
  • Werner Güth

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Abstract

In multi-party democracies, several parties usually have to join together in coalition to form government. Many aspects of that process have been fairly fully investigated, others less so. Among the latter is the timing of the formation and announcement of coalitions. While the dominant popular image may be one of parties meeting together after the election to hammer out a coalition agreement, pre-election coalitions of one sort or another are actually quite common. In almost half of the elections in OECD countries since World War II, at least one pair of parties had pre-announced their intention to join together in government. A quarter of governments formed were based wholly (and another quarter in part) on pre-election agreements. To date, such studies as there have been of pre-election coalitions have concentrated primarily on system-level explanations - features of the electoral system (majoritarian or proportional, and so on) that make such arrangements more or less likely. Here we shall instead look more at the agent-level logic of ‘early’ (preelection) versus ‘late’ (post-election) coalition formation, from the point of view of voters and parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Goodin & Rupert Sausgruber & Werner Güth, "undated". "When to Coalesce: Early versus Late Coalition Announcement in an Experimental Democracy," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2005-10
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Giovannoni & Daniel Seidmann, 2014. "Corruption and power in democracies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(3), pages 707-734, March.
    2. Meffert, Michael F. & Gschwend, Thomas, 2008. "Strategic Voting in Multiparty Systems : A Group Experiment," Papers 08-10, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Meffert, Michael F. & Gschwend, Thomas, 2008. "Strategic Voting in Multiparty Systems: A Group Experiment," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-10, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    4. André Blais & Simon Labbé-St-Vincent & Jean-François Laslier & Nicolas Sauger & Karine Van Der Straeten, 2008. "Vote choice in one round and two round elections," Working Papers hal-00335060, HAL.

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