Bargaining in legislatures: An experimental investigation of open versus closed amendment rules

Guillaume R. Fréchette, John H. Kagel, Steven F. Lehrer

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    We investigate the differential effects of open versus closed amendment rules within the framework of a distributive model of legislative bargaining. The data show that there are longer delays in distributing benefits and a more egalitarian distribution of benefits under the open amendment rule, the proposer gets a larger share of the benefits than coalition members under both rules, and play converges toward minimal winning coalitions under the closed amendment rule. However, there are important quantitative differences between the theoretical model underlying the experiment (Baron and Ferejohn 1989) and data, as the frequency of minimal winning coalitions is much greater under the closed rule (the theory predicts minimal winning coalitions under both rules for our parameter values) and the distribution of benefits between coalition members is much more egalitarian than predicted. The latter are consistent with findings from shrinking pie bilateral bargaining game experiments in economics, to which we relate our results.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)221-232
    Number of pages12
    JournalAmerican Political Science Review
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 2003

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


    Dive into the research topics of 'Bargaining in legislatures: An experimental investigation of open versus closed amendment rules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this