Public Choice

, Volume 167, Issue 1–2, pp 131–143 | Cite as

Bargaining complexity and the duration of government formation: evidence from Flemish municipalities

  • Tom Blockmans
  • Benny Geys
  • Bruno Heyndels
  • Bram Mahieu


Government formation processes have attracted a substantial amount of scholarly attention. Yet, only few scholars try to explain the duration of government formations. This article extends the latter literature by examining the relation between the complexity of the bargaining environment and the duration of government formations at the local government level. We show that increased bargaining complexity—reflected in parties’ ideological similarity, a larger number of potential bargaining partners, and an election result allowing for a larger set of mathematically feasible governments—is associated with longer bargaining delays.


Coalition formation Ideology Political party Policy preferences Local government 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Blockmans
    • 1
  • Benny Geys
    • 2
  • Bruno Heyndels
    • 1
  • Bram Mahieu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied EconomicsVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsNorwegian Business School (BI)OsloNorway

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