Voting Weights and Formateur Advantages in the Formation of Coalition Governments
Harvard University - Department of Government
James M. Snyder Jr.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science & Department of Economics
Aaron B. Strauss
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science
Michael M. Ting
Columbia University - Department of Political Science
MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 03-24
We examine the relationship between parliamentary seats and cabinet posts in European governments between 1946 and 2001. Our specification improves on past studies in two respects. First, it derives and uses the voting weights of the underlying coalition formation games. This reduces the measurement error introduced when seat shares are used to proxy for voting weights. Second, the statistical model allows us to nest the predictions of different formal theories of the distribution of posts. We find that for non-formateur parties in the government, there is a linear relationship between their share of the voting weight in parliament and their share of cabinet posts. Additionally, the formateur party receives a substantial "bonus" relative to its voting weight. The latter finding is more consistent with proposal-based bargaining models of coalition formation, and less so with demand-bargaining models.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Voting Weights, Bargaining, Coalitions, Formateur Advantage
JEL Classification: C78, D72
Date posted: July 20, 2003
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