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Legislative Bargaining and Partisan Delegation

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Working paper
Author/s: 
Thomas Choate, John A Weymark, Alan E. Wiseman
Issue number: 
VUECON-18-00010
Series: 
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
Publisher: 
Vanderbilt University
Year: 
2018
We use an extension of the Baron–Ferejohn model of legislative bargaining in which there are three legislators, two of whom have partisan ties, to analyze the division of a fixed political resource in a majoritarian legislature. A legislator's preferences depend on the shares that he and any copartisan receive. We ask if there are circumstances under which a partisan legislator is willing to delegate proposal-making authority to a party leader so as to take advantage of the special proposal rights accorded by the legislature to this office rather than retaining equal-recognition proposal rights for himself. We show that this is the case only if (i) the leader's proposal recognition probability is larger than the probability that one of the partisans is recognized when the legislators act independently, (ii) partisan affiliation is sufficiently strong, and (iii) the legislators are sufficiently impatient. The relevance of this result for Aldrich and Rohde's conditional party government thesis and Krehbiel's First Congressional Parties Paradox are considered.
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