Agenda Setting and Reciprocal Vote Trading
We study the implications of reciprocity on agenda setting in a sequential policy decision. We designed a laboratory experiment in which a committee decides sequentially on three independent bills. Selfish committee members would turn down all bills but reciprocity allows for implicit vote trading. This mechanism gives power to agenda setters. We find that agenda setters use their power when setting the agenda but are rather generous in the voting decision. Legislators benefiting from the chosen agenda support the agenda setter more frequently whereas those suffering from the chosen agenda punish the agenda setter. Nevertheless agenda setting increases efficiency.
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