Power Illusion in Coalitional Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis

33 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2016 Last revised: 25 Aug 2019

See all articles by Nicola Maaser

Nicola Maaser

University of Bremen - Department of Economics

Fabian Paetzel

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universit├Ąt; DFG Research Group 2104

Stefan Traub

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Department of Economics; University of the German Federal Armed Forces - DFG Research Group 2104

Date Written: July 29, 2019

Abstract

One feature of legislative bargaining in naturally occurring settings is that the distribution of seats or voting weights often does not accurately reflect bargaining power. Game-theoretic predictions about payoffs and coalition formation are insensitive to nominal differences in vote distributions and instead only depend on pivotality. We conduct an experimental test of the classical Baron-Ferejohn model with fi ve-player groups. Holding real power constant, we compare treatments with differences in nominal power. We find that initial effects of nominal differences become small or disappear with experience. Our results also point to the complexity of the environment as having a negative impact on the speed at which this transition takes place. Finally, and of particular importance as a methodological observation, giving subjects a pause accelerates learning.

Keywords: legislative bargaining, alternating offers, experiments, weighted voting, coalition formation

JEL Classification: C78, C92, D71, D72, C7, C52

Suggested Citation

Maaser, Nicola and Paetzel, Fabian and Traub, Stefan, Power Illusion in Coalitional Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis (July 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887955 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2887955

Nicola Maaser (Contact Author)

University of Bremen - Department of Economics ( email )

Bremen, D-28334
Germany

Fabian Paetzel

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universit├Ąt ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22008
Germany

DFG Research Group 2104 ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, DE 22043
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://bedarfsgerechtigkeit.hsu-hh.de/en?set_language=en

Stefan Traub

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Department of Economics ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - DFG Research Group 2104 ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hmaburg, DE 22043
Germany

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