A Theory of Minority and Majority Governments
We develop a theory of the emergence of minority and majority governments in multiparty parliamentary systems using a canonical non-cooperative bargaining model and assuming a policy space of arbitrary finite dimension, any number of political parties, and a general class of preferences over the government agreement space. Only majority governments form in the absence of significant political disagreement. Generically, minority governments form with positive probability when parties represented in parliament are ideologically polarized (or when utility from holding cabinet office is small relative to partisan political disagreement). Rather than being paradoxical, minority governments are a regular equilibrium phenomenon.
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