Economic Theory

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 427–445 | Cite as

The Formateurs’ Role in Government Formation

  • Daniel J. SeidmannEmail author
  • Eyal Winter
  • Elan Pavlov
Research Article


Following an election, Heads of State typically choose a formateur to report back a prospective government by some deadline. If this formateur fails then another party leader is chosen on the same terms. We model this mechanism as a bargaining game, in which a single party leader has exclusive access to the Head of State, but does not have a monopoly on making proposals. We characterize the unique equilibrium of the game in which all parties are symmetric and parties split a fixed-size pie. We also show that supra-minimal governments may form when parties are asymmetrically sized: a result consistent with the evidence on government formation in countries which use a formateur mechanism.


Formateurs Government formation Sequential bargaining 

JEL Classification Numbers

C7 D7 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics DepartmentNottingham UniversityNottinghamEngland
  2. 2.Center for Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory and Economics DepartmentHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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