Voting Weights and Formateur Advantages in the Formation of Coalition Governments

36 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2003  

Stephen Ansolabehere

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

Date Written: July 2003

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Voting Weights, Bargaining, Coalitions, Formateur Advantage

JEL Classification: C78, D72

Suggested Citation

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Snyder, James M. and Strauss, Aaron B. and Ting, Michael M., Voting Weights and Formateur Advantages in the Formation of Coalition Governments (July 2003). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 03-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=425100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.425100

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

James M. Snyder Jr. (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science & Department of Economics ( email )

E53-457
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-253-2669 (Phone)

Aaron B. Strauss

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Michael M. Ting

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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