Public Choice

, Volume 147, Issue 3–4, pp 285–304

Negotiation in legislatures over government formation


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9627-4

Cite this article as:
Laver, M., de Marchi, S. & Mutlu, H. Public Choice (2011) 147: 285. doi:10.1007/s11127-010-9627-4


We question results claiming to extend non-cooperative models of legislative bargaining to the theoretically general and substantively typical case with an arbitrary number of disciplined parties. We identify problems with both the derivation of formal results and empirical evaluation of these. No empirically robust formateur advantage is observed in field data on bargaining over government formation. Given this theoretical and empirical impasse, we reconsider the substantive premises that should form the foundation for any new attempt to model this fundamental political process, arguing that models should be grounded in binding constitutional constraints on the government formation process in parliamentary democracies.


Bargaining Gamson’s law Game theory Social choice theory Coalition formation Formateur 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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