Scholars of Congress and other legislative institutions have posited that majority agenda-setting is one of the primary mechanisms by which a majority party demonstrates its power over legislation. However, this line of work has difficulty explaining why the floor median would delegate such power to the majority. In this paper, I develop a theory of lawmaking in an incomplete-information environment. The model allows for information transmission through both majority agenda-setting and minority speech making. This is one of the first models of parties in Congress that allows for the minority to have an active and vital role. Comparative statics show that, for a wide set of parameter values, the institutional arrangement proposed is optimal for the floor median when compared to strict majoritarian and minority-free settings.
- Agenda setting
- cheap talk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science