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Political Mergers as Coalition Formation: Evidence from Japanese Municipal Amalgamations

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  • Eric Weese

Abstract

Political coalition formation games can describe the formation and dissolution of nations, as well as the creation of coalition governments, the establishment of political parties, and other similar phenomena. These games have been studied from a theoretical perspective, but the models have not been used extensively in empirical work.This paper presents a method of estimating political coalition formation models with many-player coalitions, and then applies this method to the recent heisei municipal amalgamations in Japan to estimate structural coefficients that describe the behaviour of municipalities. The method enables counterfactual analysis, which in the Japanese case shows that the national government could increase welfare via a counter-intuitive policy involving transfers to richer municipalities conditional on their participation in a merger.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Weese, 2008. "Political Mergers as Coalition Formation: Evidence from Japanese Municipal Amalgamations," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-017, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd08-017
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    File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd08-017.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
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    3. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    5. Diamantoudi, Effrosyni & Xue, Licun, 2007. "Coalitions, agreements and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 105-125, September.
    6. Barbera, Salvador & Gerber, Anke, 2007. "A note on the impossibility of a satisfactory concept of stability for coalition formation games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 85-90, April.
    7. Tayfun Sönmez & Suryapratim Banerjee & Hideo Konishi, 2001. "Core in a simple coalition formation game," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(1), pages 135-153.
    8. Dreze, J H & Greenberg, J, 1980. "Hedonic Coalitions: Optimality and Stability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 987-1003, May.
    9. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2010. "A Model of Delegated Project Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 213-244, January.
    10. John Vickers & Mark Armstrong, 2007. "A Model of Delegated Project Choice With Application to Merger Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 347, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Weese, 2011. "Political Mergers as Coalition Formation," Working Papers 997, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coalition Formation; Municipal Mergers; Japan;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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