Public Choice

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 171–185 | Cite as

A theory of the spoils system

  • Roy Gardner


In a spoils system, it is axiomatic that ‘to the winners go the spoils.’ This essay formalizes spoils systems as cooperative games, with winners given by a simple game structure, and represented by a fixed number of political appointments. We analyze the resulting spoils games by means of the non-transferable utility value, and we offer two practical applications of the results.


Public Finance Fixed Number Cooperative Game Simple Game Game Structure 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy AnalysisIndiana UniversityBloomington

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