IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

First Things First? The Agenda Formation Problem for Multi-issue Committees


  • Francesca Flamini


It is often argued that multi-issue committees should discuss issues simultaneously to avoid ineciency. However, in practice, parties can be constrained to discuss issues sequentially and in this case, existing game-theoretical models give inconclusive results: either parties have dierent preferences over agendas or they are indierent. We show that when there is an important issue, parties have the same preferences over agendas, in particular they prefer to discuss the most important issue Þrst. Moreover, when an issue is dicult/urgent (in the sense that the rejection of a proposal on this issue implies a game breakdown with a positive probability) parties prefer to postpone the negotiations over the dicult/urgent issue. We highlight several incentives that players need to take into account in forming their preferences over agendas. Since theseareoften in conßict, the existence of a Pareto optimal agenda is of particular interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Flamini, "undated". "First Things First? The Agenda Formation Problem for Multi-issue Committees," Working Papers 2001_19, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2001_19

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Weinberger, Catherine J., 2000. "Selective Acceptance and Inefficiency in a Two-Issue Complete Information Bargaining Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 262-293, May.
    3. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, March.
    4. Ray, Debraj & Vohra, Rajiv, 1997. "Equilibrium Binding Agreements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 30-78, March.
    5. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Horstmann, Ignatius J, 1997. "Bargaining Frictions, Bargaining Procedures and Implied Costs in Multiple-Issue Bargaining," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 669-680, November.
    6. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. In, Younghwan & Serrano, Roberto, 2004. "Agenda restrictions in multi-issue bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 385-399, March.
    8. Lang, Kevin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 2001. "Bargaining Piecemeal or All at Once?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 526-540, July.
    9. Muthoo Abhinay, 1995. "Bargaining in a Long-Term Relationship with Endogenous Termination," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 590-598, August.
    10. In, Younghwan & Serrano, Roberto, 2003. "Agenda restrictions in multi-issue bargaining (II): unrestricted agendas," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 325-331, June.
    11. Flamini, F., 2000. "Agenda Formation in Issue-by-Issue Bargaining Games," Discussion Papers 0001, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    12. Inderst, Roman, 2000. "Multi-issue Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 64-82, January.
    13. Lutz-Alexander Busch & Ignatius Horstmann, 1999. "Endogenous Incomplete Contracts: A Bargaining Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 956-975, August.
    14. Francesca Flamini, "undated". "A Note on Agenda Restrictions in Multi-Issue Bargaining," Working Papers 2003_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    15. Fershtman, Chaim, 1990. "The importance of the agenda in bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 224-238, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:grdene:v:23:y:2014:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-012-9319-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gla:glaewp:2007_23 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Julian J. Arevalo, 2005. "Gradual Nash Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda: A Path-Dependent Model," Game Theory and Information 0502004, EconWPA.
    4. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:364-379 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. D r. (elect.) Julia Korosteleva, "undated". "Maximising Seigniorage and Inflation Tax: The Case of Belarus," Working Papers 2006_5, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    6. Jun Xiao, 2012. "Bargaining Order in a Multi-Person Bargaining Game," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1150, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Julián Arévalo, 2004. "Negociación Nash Gradual con Agenda Endógena: Un Modelo Trayectoria-Dependiente," Game Theory and Information 0407001, EconWPA.
    8. Francesca Flamini, "undated". "Strategic Effects and Incentives in Multi-issue Bargaining Games," Working Papers 2005_5, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    9. Francesca Flamini, "undated". "A Note on Agenda Restrictions in Multi-Issue Bargaining," Working Papers 2003_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    10. Lajtos, Ildikó, 2010. "Verhandlungsverhalten und Anspruchsanpassung im internationalen Verhandlungsprozess: Die WTO-Agrarverhandlungen zum Abbau exportwettbewerbsfördernder Maßnahmen," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 55, number 94723.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2001_19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tedi Racheva). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.