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Initial Versus Continuing Proposal Power in Legislative Seniority

McKelvey, Richard D. and Reizman, Raymond G. (1991) Initial Versus Continuing Proposal Power in Legislative Seniority. Social Science Working Paper, 769. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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We compare two different seniority systems in a legislature whose sole task is to decide on distributive issues, and which operates under a Baron-Ferejohn recognition rule, where recognition probability is based on seniority. In the first system, called "initial proposal power", recognition probability for the initial proposal is based on seniority, but once the proposal is voted on by the legislature, all members have equal recognition probabilities for any reconsideration. Under the second system, called "continuing proposal power,'' seniority is used to determine proposal power both in the initial consideration and in any reconsideration. We find that in the case of seniority systems embodying continuing proposal power, there does not exist an equilibrium in which incumbents are reelected, and in which legislators would endogenously choose to impose such a seniority system on themselves. This contrasts with previous results in which we have shown that there does exist such an equilibrium for the case of initial proposal power. The reason for this result is that continuing proposal power lowers the value of senior members, since it makes them less desirable as coalition partners.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:This paper was prepared for the conference on Political Economy, Washington University, St. Louis, May 22-25, 1991. The research reported here was funded in part by NSF Grants #SES-9022932 to the California Institute of Technology, and #SES-9023056 to the University of Iowa. We are grateful to Ken Shepsle for comments on an earlier paper which led to this research. Published as McKelvey, R., and Raymond Riezman. "Initial versus continuing proposal power in legislative seniority systems." Political Economy: Institutions, Competition, and Representation (1993): 279-292.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
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Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:769
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170830-153142114
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80993
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:30 Aug 2017 23:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:37

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