Coalition and Party Formation in a Legislative Voting Game

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Working paper
Matthew O. Jackson and Boaz Moselle
We examine a legislative voting game where decisions are to be made over both ideological and distributive dimensions. In equilibrium legislators prefer to make proposals for the two dimensions together, despite having preferences that are separable over the two dimensions. The equilibria exhibit interaction between the ideological and distributive dimensions, and the set of legislators who approve winning proposals does not always consist of ideologically adjacent legislators. There is more than one ideological decision that has a positive probability of being proposed and approved. We show that legislators can gain from forming political parties, and consider examples where predictions can be made about the composition of parties.
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