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Journal Article

Bargaining in Legislatures

David P. Baron and John A. Ferejohn
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 83, No. 4 (Dec., 1989), pp. 1181-1206
DOI: 10.2307/1961664
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1961664
Page Count: 26
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Bargaining in Legislatures
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Abstract

Bargaining in legislatures is conducted according to formal rules specifying who may make proposals and how they will be decided. Legislative outcomes depend on those rules and on the structure of the legislature. Although the social choice literature provides theories about voting equilibria, it does not endogenize the formation of the agenda on which the voting is based and rarely takes into account the institutional structure found in legislatures. In our theory members of the legislature act noncooperatively in choosing strategies to serve their own districts, explicitly taking into account the strategies members adopt in response to the sequential nature of proposal making and voting. The model permits the characterization of a legislative equilibrium reflecting the structure of the legislature and also allows consideration of the choice of elements of that structure in a context in which the standard, institution-free model of social choice theory yields no equilibrium.

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