Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

CeDEx 2012-09: Bargaining in Standing Committees


Committee voting has mostly been investigated from the perspective of the standard Baron-Ferejohn model of bargaining over the division of a pie, in which bargaining ends as soon as the committee reaches an agreement. In standing committees, however, existing agreements can be amended. This paper studies an extension of the Baron-Ferejohn framework to a model with an evolving default that reflects this important feature of policymaking in standing committees: In each of an infinite number of periods, the ongoing default can be amended to a new policy (which in turn determines the default for the next period). The model provides a number of quite different predictions. In particular: (i) Substantial shares of the pie are wasted each period and the size principle fails in some pure strategy Markov perfect equilibria of non-unanimity games with patient enough players; and (ii) All Markov perfect equilibria are Pareto inefficient when discount factors are heterogenous. However, there is unique equilibrium outcome in unanimity standing committee games, which coincides with the unique equilibrium outcome of the corresponding Baron-Ferejohn framework.

Download the paper in PDF format

Now published in Theoretical Economics 2014; 9: 445-482


Vincent Anesi and Daniel J. Seidmann


View all CeDEx discussion papers | View all School of Economics featured discussion papers


Posted on Sunday 1st July 2012

Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 4763
Enquiries: suzanne.robey@nottingham.ac.uk
Experiments: cedex@nottingham.ac.uk