Events at CERGE-EI

Friday, 9 June, 2023 | 11:00 | Micro Theory Research Seminar

S. Nageeb Ali (Pennsylvania State University) "Who Controls the Agenda Controls the Polity"

Prof. S. Nageeb Ali

Pennsylvania State University, United States


Authors: S. Nageeb Ali, B. Douglas Bernheim, Alexander W. Bloedel, Silvia Console Battilana

Abstract: This paper models legislative decision-making with an agenda setter who can propose policies sequentially, tailoring each proposal to the status quo that prevails after prior votes. Voters are sophisticated and the agenda setter cannot commit to her future proposals. Nevertheless, the agenda setter obtains her favorite outcome in every equilibrium regardless of the initial default policy. Central to our results is a new condition on preferences, manipulability, that holds in rich policy spaces, including spatial settings and distribution problems. Our results overturn the conventional wisdom that voter sophistication alone constrains an agenda setter’s power. 

JEL Classification: D72, C78
Keywords: Agenda-setting, concentration of power

Full Text: Who Controls the Agenda Controls the Polity