An empirical investigation of coalitional bargaining procedures

Daniel Diermeier, Antonio Merlo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Models of government formation processes in multi-party democracies are usually highly sensitive to the rules that govern the selection of formateurs (i.e. the parties selected to propose a potential government). The theoretical literature has focused on two selection rules: selection proportional to seat share, and selection in order of seat share. In this paper, we use a new data set on government formations in 11 parliamentary democracies to empirically assess which selection rule most closely approximates the data. We find that while there is little empirical support for selection in order of seat share, proportional selection fits the data well. However, we also find that a simple alternative that combines the insights of the two selection rules outperforms both of them in their ability to explain the data.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)783-797
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Public Economics
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - Mar 2004


    • Bargaining procedures
    • Government formation
    • Proposer selection

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics


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