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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.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2001_19.

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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2001_19
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  1. Muthoo Abhinay, 1995. "Bargaining in a Long-Term Relationship with Endogenous Termination," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 590-598, August.
  2. Inderst, Roman, 1998. "Multi-Issue Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. 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.
  4. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 252, David K. Levine.
  5. In, Younghwan & Serrano, Roberto, 2004. "Agenda restrictions in multi-issue bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 385-399, March.
  6. Younghwan In & Roberto Serrano, 2002. "Agenda Restrictions in Multi-Issue Bargaining (II): Unrestricted Agendas," Departmental Working Papers wp0206, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
  7. 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 669-80, November.
  8. Ray, D. & Vohra, R., 1993. "Equilibrium Binding Agreements," Papers 21, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Chaim Fershtman, 1986. "The Importance of the Agenda in Bargaining," Discussion Papers 689, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Francesca Flamini, . "A Note on Agenda Restrictions in Multi-Issue Bargaining," Working Papers 2003_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  11. Flamini, F., 2000. "Agenda Formation in Issue-by-Issue Bargaining Games," Discussion Papers 0001, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  12. Lang, Kevin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 2001. "Bargaining Piecemeal or All at Once?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 526-40, July.
  13. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, June.
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