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On the Formation of Political Coalitions


  • Clemens PUPPE


The paper analyses the process of coalition formation among political parties using game-theoretic concepts. Two different motives determining that process are distinguished: the parties' preferences over alternative policies and the politicians' desire to get into office. Based on these motives, two alternaives models of coalition formation are suggested. It is shown that in situations involving only a few political parties - such as, e.g., in Germany or Austria - office-seeking considerations may generate stable coalition structures. On the other hand, if the number of parties becomes too large, stable solutions exist only under rather restrictive additional conditions. Several examples are provided illustrating the theoretical implications of the analysis.
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Suggested Citation

  • Georg KIRCHSTEIGER & Clemens PUPPE, 1995. "On the Formation of Political Coalitions," Vienna Economics Papers vie9505, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:vie9505

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    2. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt40m5g6pp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Inflation and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 530-538, June.
    5. Genberg, Hans, 1989. " Exchange Rate Management and Macroeconomic Policy: A National Perspective," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 439-469.
    6. Manfred Neumann, 1991. "Precommitment by central bank independence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 95-112, June.
    7. Georg Winckler, 1991. "Exchange Rate Appreciation As a Signal of a New Policy Stance," IMF Working Papers 91/32, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Peter Brandner & Albert Jaeger, 1992. "Aus WIFO-Studien: Zinsniveau und Zinsstruktur in Österreich," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 65(11), pages 593-595, November.
    9. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-455, November.
    10. Douglas D. Purvis, 1992. "Economic Integration, Currency Areas, and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 859, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harrie De Swart & Patrik Eklund & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2008. "A consensus model of political decision-making," Post-Print halshs-00283200, HAL.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2006:i:12:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dinko Dimitrov & Claus-Jochen Haake, 2006. "Government versus Opposition: Who Should be Who in the 16th German Bundestag?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 115-128, November.
    4. M. Puy, 2013. "Stable coalition governments: the case of three political parties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 65-87, January.
    5. Dinko Dimitrov & Claus-Jochen Haake, 2006. "Coalition Formation in Simple Games: The Semistrict Core," Working Papers 2006.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Jan-Willem Rijt, 2008. "An Alternative Model of the Formation of Political Coalitions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 81-101, February.
    7. repec:spr:grdene:v:17:y:2008:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-008-9103-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dimitrov, Dinko & Haake, Claus-Jochen, 2008. "Stable governments and the semistrict core," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 460-475, March.
    9. Dinko Dimitrov, 2006. "Top coalitions, common rankings, and semistrict core stability," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(12), pages 1-6.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games


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