Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 6 > Issue 2

Generous Legislators? A Description of Vote Trading Agreements

Rafael Hortala-Vallve, Government Department — London School of Economics, R.Hortala-Vallve@ac.uk
Suggested Citation
Rafael Hortala-Vallve (2011), "Generous Legislators? A Description of Vote Trading Agreements", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 6: No. 2, pp 179-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00010034

Publication Date: 25 Sep 2011
© 2011 R. Hortala-Vallve
Lawmaking,  Formal modelling,  Voting theory


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In this article:
A Simple Logrolling Model 
Concluding Remarks 


Legislators trade influence to attain the approval of their most preferred bills. A classic example can be found in pork barrel politics with concentrated benefits and diffuse costs, in which logrolling agreements can load costs onto legislators excluded from winning coalitions. I model the bargaining amongst legislators as a repeated game and show that the outcome depends on the voters' relative valuations toward each bill. Most interestingly, I shed light on a vote trading outcome that has so far been overlooked in the literature; legislators most affected by logrolling agreements (those who bear costs with no benefit) may break such coalitions. Specifically, in equilibrium some legislators "generously" offer their support for bills that are not to their benefit, and obtain nothing in exchange.