Stephen Ansolabehere gratefully acknowledges the support of the Carnegie Corporation under the Carnegie Scholars program. James Snyder and Michael Ting gratefully acknowledge the financial support of National Science Foundation Grant SES-0079035. Michael Ting also acknowledges the financial and intellectual support of the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences at Harvard University. All three authors thank Jim Alt, Wolfgang Mueller, and Massimo Morelli for their helpful comments.
Voting Weights and Formateur Advantages in the Formation of Coalition Governments
Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2005
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 49, Issue 3, pages 550–563, July 2005
How to Cite
Ansolabehere, S., Snyder, J. M., Strauss, A. B. and Ting, M. M. (2005), Voting Weights and Formateur Advantages in the Formation of Coalition Governments. American Journal of Political Science, 49: 550–563. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2005.00141.x
- Issue online: 18 MAY 2005
- Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2005
Over the last two decades a large and important literature has emerged that uses game theoretic models of bargaining to study legislative coalitions. To test key predictions of these models, we examine the composition of coalition governments from 1946 and 2001. These predictions are almost always expressed in terms of parties' minimal-integer voting weights. We calculate such weights for all parliamentary parties. In addition, we develop a statistical model that nests the predictions of many of these models of the distribution of posts. We find that for parties that join (but did not form) the government, there is a linear relationship between their share of the voting weight in parliament and their share of cabinet posts. The party that forms the government (the formateur) receives a substantial “bonus” relative to its voting weight. The latter finding is more consistent with proposal-based bargaining models of coalition formation and suggests that parties gain disproportionate power not because of their size but because of their proposal power.