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Forming Stable Coalitions: The Process Matters

Author

Listed:
  • Steven J. Brams

    (Department of Politics, New York University, U.S.A.)

  • Michael A. Jones

    (Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State University, U.S.A.)

  • D.Marc Kilgour

    (Department of Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

Abstract

Players are assumed to rank each other as coalition partners. Two processes of coalition formation are defined and illustrated: i) Fallback (FB): Players seek coalition partners by descending lower and lower in their preference rankings until some majority coalition, all of whose members consider each other mutually acceptable, forms. ii) Build-up (BU):Same descent as FB, except only majorities whose members rank each other highest form coalitions. BU coalitions are stable in the sense that no member would prefer to be in another coalition, whereas FB coalitions, whose members need not rank each other highest, may not be stable. BU coalitions are bimodally distributed in a random society, with peaks around simple majority and unanimity the distributions of majorities in the US Supreme Count and in the US House of Representatives follow this pattern. The dynamics of real-life coalition-formation processes are illustrated by two Supreme Court cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Brams & Michael A. Jones & D.Marc Kilgour, 2003. "Forming Stable Coalitions: The Process Matters," Working Papers 2003.97, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.97
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    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2003/NDL2003-097.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:grdene:v:10:y:2001:i:4:d:10.1023_a:1011252808608 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Antonio Romero-Medina & Katari´na Cechlárová, 2001. "Stability in coalition formation games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 29(4), pages 487-494.
    3. Greenberg Joseph & Weber Shlomo, 1993. "Stable Coalition Structures with a Unidimensional Set of Alternatives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 62-82, June.
    4. Steven J. Brams & Michael A. Jones & D. Marc Kilgour, 2002. "Single-Peakedness and Disconnected Coalitions," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 14(3), pages 359-383, July.
    5. Steven J. Brams & D. Marc Kilgour, 2001. "Fallback Bargaining," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 287-316, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:grdene:v:22:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-011-9276-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Steven Brams & D. Kilgour, 2013. "Kingmakers and leaders in coalition formation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(1), pages 1-18, June.
    3. Annelies de Ridder & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2008. "On Some Procedures of Forming a Multipartner Alliance," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 443-487, June.
    4. Eklund, Patrik & Rusinowska, Agnieszka & De Swart, Harrie, 2007. "Consensus reaching in committees," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 178(1), pages 185-193, April.
    5. Geir Asheim & Carl Claussen & Tore Nilssen, 2006. "Majority voting leads to unanimity," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(1), pages 91-110, December.
    6. Annelies De Ridder & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Elena Saiz & Eligius M.T. Hendrix, 2008. "Coalition formation: the role of procedure and policy flexibility," Post-Print halshs-00269093, HAL.
    7. Wasowicz Pawel, 2014. "Identifying and ascribing the relative significance of introduction pathways for non-native plants into Iceland," Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, De Gruyter Open, vol. 2(4), pages 28-37, December.
    8. Manfred J. Holler & Stefan Napel, 2004. "Monotonicity of power and power measures," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 56(2_2), pages 93-111, February.
    9. Steven Brams & Gustavo Camilo & Alexandra Franz, 2014. "Coalition formation on the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969–2009," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 525-539, March.
    10. Tom Blockmans & Marie-Anne Guerry, 2016. "Coalition Formation Procedures: The Impact of Issue Saliences and Consensus Estimation," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 481-499, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coalition dynamics; Fallback bargaining; Manipulability; Legislatures; US Supreme Court;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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