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A Theory of Gridlock: Strategic Behavior in Legislative Deliberations
Atlantic Economic Journal (1998)
  • Evan W. Osborne, Wright State University - Main Campus

This paper studies compromise and inflexibility in political negotiations. It provides the first analysis of gridlock, a result in which politicians fail to agree on an ideal compromise but which most voters find preferable to the status quo. A multistage game is developed in which contending political blocs choose from hardline or compromise strategies. The outcomes compromise, gridlock, or one party's ideal legislation—are a function of the incentives of political actors to cooperate or fight. The model illustrates problems in political markets that may occur when consumers are poorly informed.

  • gridlock,
  • strategic behavior,
  • legislative deliberations,
  • political science,
  • political strikes
Publication Date
September 1, 1998
Citation Information
Evan W. Osborne. "A Theory of Gridlock: Strategic Behavior in Legislative Deliberations" Atlantic Economic Journal Vol. 26 Iss. 3 (1998)
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