Advertisement

Experimental Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 697–717 | Cite as

Institution design and public good provision: an experimental study of the vote of confidence procedure

  • Chloe Tergiman
Original Paper

Abstract

Parliamentary democracies use the vote of confidence procedure, which links the survival of a government with that of a bill, in order to discipline members of the majority. In this paper I investigate the role that the vote of confidence procedure has on public good provision and show that it has unintended negative consequences: even when efficient, public goods may be turned down in favor of earmarked projects. I use a laboratory experiment to test my model and show that the increase in voting cohesion comes at the cost of a 23 % reduction in public good provision and more unequal earmarking.

Keywords

Multilateral legislative bargaining Vote of confidence procedure Proposer power 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Alessandro Lizzeri for suggesting the topic and Guillaume Frechette for guidance. In addition, I am grateful to Marina Agranov, Theo Ofermann, Andrew Schotter, Lise Vesterlundt and the participants at the ESA North American Meetings for helpful comments.

Supplementary material

10683_2014_9423_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1798 kb)

References

  1. Agranov, M., & Tergiman, C. (2014). Communication in multilateral bargaining. Journal of Public Economics, 118, 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agranov, M., & Tergiman, C. (2015). Transparency versus backroom deals in bargaining, Working Paper.Google Scholar
  3. Baron, D. P., & Ferejohn, J. A. (1989). Bargaining in legislatures. The American Political Science Review, 83(4), 1181–1206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Battaglini, M., & Nunnari, S. (2012). Political institutions and the dynamics of public investment. American Political Science Review, 106(2), 407–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Battaglini, M., & Palfrey, T. R. (2012). The dynamics of redistributive politics. Economic Theory, 49(3), 739–777.MATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becher, M., & Christiansen, F. J. (2014). Dissolution threats and legislative bargaining, Working Paper.Google Scholar
  7. Becker, G. M., DeGroot, M. H., & Marschak, J. (1964). Measuring utility by a single-response sequential method. Behavioral Science, 9, 226–236.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Diermeier, D., & Feddersen, T. (1998). Cohesion in legislature and the vote of confidence procedure. The American Political Science Review, 92(3), 611–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diermeier, D., & Morton, R. (2004). Proportionality versus perfectness: Experiments in majoritarian bargaining. In D. Austen-Smith & J. Duggan (Eds.), Social choice and strategic behavior: Essays in the honor of Jeffrey S. Banks. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Diermeier, D., Merlo, A., & Eraslan, H. (2003). A structural model of government formation. Econometrica, 71(1), 27–70.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Epstein, L. D. (1964). A comparative study of Canadian parties. American Political Science Review, 57(March), 46–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frechette, G., Kagel, J., & Massimo, M. (2012). Pork versus public goods: An experimental study of public good provision within a legislative bargaining framework. Economic Theory, 49(3), 779–800.MATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilligan, T. W., & Krehbiel, K. (1987). Collective decision-making and standing committees: An informational rationale for restrictive amendment procedures. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 3(August), 287–335.Google Scholar
  14. Huber, J. D. (1996). The vote of confidence in parliamentary democracies. The American Political Science Review, 90(2), 269–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lizzeri, A., & Persico, N. (2001). The provision of public goods under alternative electoral incentives. The American Economic Review, 91(1), 225–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McKelvey, R. D. (1991). An experimental test of a stochastic game model of committee bargaining. In T. R. Palfrey (Ed.), Contemporary laboratory research in political economy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  17. McKelvey, R. D., & Palfrey, T. (1998). Quantile response equilibria for extensive form games. Experimental Economics, 1(1), 9–41.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Norman, P. (2002). Legislative bargaining and coalition formation. Journal of Economic Theory, 102(2), 322–353.MATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nunnari, S., Zapal, J. (2013) Quantile response equilibrium and gambler’s fallacy explain suboptimal behavior in bargaining experiments, Working Paper.Google Scholar
  20. Volden, C., Wiseman, A. E. (2007). Bargaining in legislatures over particularistic and colletive goods. Paper presented at the 76th annual meetings of the southern political science association, January 5–9, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British Columbia and NYU’s Center for Experimental and Social SciencesVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations