Buying Supermajorities in the Lab

63 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Sebastian Fehrler

Sebastian Fehrler

IZA; University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics; University of Zurich, Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS)

Maik T. Schneider

University of Bath

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Many decisions taken in legislatures or committees are subject to lobbying efforts. A seminal contribution to the literature on vote-buying is the legislative lobbying model pioneered by Groseclose and Snyder (1996), which predicts that lobbies will optimally form supermajorities in many cases. Providing the first empirical assessment of this prominent model, we test its central predictions in the laboratory. While the model assumes sequential moves, we relax this assumption in additional treatments with simultaneous moves. We find that lobbies buy supermajorities as predicted by the theory. Our results also provide supporting evidence for most comparative statics predictions of the legislative lobbying model with respect to lobbies' willingness to pay and legislators' preferences. Most of these results carry over to the simultaneous-move set-up but the predictive power of the model declines.

Keywords: legislative lobbying, vote-buying, Colonel Blotto, multi-battlefield contests, experimental political economy

JEL Classification: C92, D72

Suggested Citation

Fehrler, Sebastian and Schneider, Maik T., Buying Supermajorities in the Lab (July 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12477. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427616

Sebastian Fehrler (Contact Author)

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 10
78457 Konstanz
Germany

University of Zurich, Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) ( email )

Affolternstrasse 56
8050 Zurich
Switzerland

Maik T. Schneider

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

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