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An Empirical Investigation of Coalitional Bargaining Procedures

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  • Daniel Diermeier
  • Antoni Merlo

Abstract

Models of government formation processes in multi-party democracies are unusually highly sensitive to the rules that govern the selection of formateurs. The formal literature has exclusively focused on two selection rules: selection proportional to seat share (Baron and Ferejohn 1989), and selection in order of seat share (Austen-Smith and Banks 1988). In this paper we use a new data set on government formation attempts in 12 multi-party democracies to empirically assess which selection rule most closely approximates the data. We find that while there is no empirical support for selection in order of seat share, proportional selection may serve as a good first approximation. However, our results also indicate that formateur selection exhibits a significant incumbency effect: ceteris paribus, the former prime minister's party is more likely to be selected to attempt the formation of the next government.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Diermeier & Antoni Merlo, 1999. "An Empirical Investigation of Coalitional Bargaining Procedures," Discussion Papers 1267, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1267
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Warwick, Paul V., 1996. "Coalition Government Membership in West European Parliamentary Democracies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(04), pages 471-499, October.
    2. Merlo, Antonio, 1997. "Bargaining over Governments in a Stochastic Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 101-131, February.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    4. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    5. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    6. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 2000. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 46-79, September.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:04:p:1181-1206_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
    9. Diermeier, Daniel & Van Roozendaal, Peter, 1998. "The Duration of Cabinet Formation Processes in Western Multi-Party Democracies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 609-626, October.
    10. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:34-47_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    13. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
    14. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "Analyzing the Case for Government Intervention in a Representative Democracy," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 335, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    15. Diermeier, Daniel & Eraslan, Hulya & Merlo, Antonio, 2002. "Coalition governments and comparative constitutional design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 893-907, May.
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    17. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "Towards micropolitical foundations of public finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 685-694, May.
    18. repec:cup:apsrev:v:82:y:1988:i:02:p:405-422_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey, 1988. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(02), pages 405-422, June.
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