Dynamic Agenda Setting

40 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2015

See all articles by Ying Chen

Ying Chen

Johns Hopkins University - Department of Economics

Hulya Eraslan

Rice University

Date Written: June 5, 2015


A party in power can address only a limited number of issues in an election cycle. What issues to address - the party's agenda - has dynamic implications because it affects what issues will be addressed in the future. What is the optimal agenda in the presence of dynamic concerns? How does a party's political strength affect its agenda? What are the efficiency implications? We address these questions in a stylized model in which the incumbent in each period addresses one issue among several issues and the remaining issues roll over to the next period. When the incumbent expects its power to strengthen or weaken, strategic manipulations can happen in the form of waiting for the moment and seizing the moment respectively. When the incumbent expects the opposition to come in power next period, strategic manipulations can happen in the form of steering and preemption. In steering, the incumbent gives priority to a less pressing issue to direct the opposition party towards addressing the most pressing issue for the incumbent. In preemption, the incumbent gives priority to the issue most pressing for the opposition to prevent the opposition from addressing it. Although preemption can still be efficient, steering is necessarily inefficient.

Keywords: agenda setting; multi-issue bargaining; steering; preemption; waiting for the moment; seizing the moment

JEL Classification: C78, D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Chen, Ying and Eraslan, Hulya, Dynamic Agenda Setting (June 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615877 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2615877

Ying Chen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Department of Economics ( email )

3400 Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2685
United States

Hulya Eraslan

Rice University ( email )

Department of Economics MS-22
Rice University P.O Box 1892
Houston, TX Texas 77251-1892
United States
7133483453 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://he6.web.rice.edu/

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