Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Bargaining in standing committees with an endogenous default

Anesi, Vincent; Seidmann, Daniel J.


Vincent Anesi


© The Author 2015. Committee voting has mostly been investigated from the perspective of the standard Baron-Ferejohn model of bargaining over the division of a pie, in which bargaining ends as soon as the committee reaches an agreement. In standing committees, however, existing agreements can be amended. This article studies an extension of the Baron-Ferejohn framework to a model with an evolving default that reflects this important feature of policymaking in standing committees: In each of an infinite number of periods, the ongoing default can be amended to a new policy (which is, in turn, the default for the next period). The model provides a number of quite different predictions. (i) From a positive perspective, the key distinction turns on whether the quota is less than unanimity. In that case, patient enough players waste substantial shares of the pie each period and the size principle fails in some pure strategy Markov perfect equilibria. In contrast, the unique Markov perfect equilibrium payoffs in a unanimity committee coincide with those in the corresponding Baron-Ferejohn framework. (ii) If players have heterogeneous discount factors then a large class of subgame perfect equilibria (including all Markov perfect equilibria) are inefficient.


Anesi, V., & Seidmann, D. J. (2015). Bargaining in standing committees with an endogenous default. Review of Economic Studies, 82(3), 825-867.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2015
Online Publication Date Mar 6, 2015
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 8, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 8, 2015
Journal Review of Economic Studies
Print ISSN 0034-6527
Electronic ISSN 1467-937X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 82
Issue 3
Pages 825-867
Keywords legislative bargaining, endogenous default, pork barrel, policy persistence
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Review of Economic Studies following peer review. The version of record: Bargaining in standing committees with an endogenous default / Vinvent Anesi and Daniel J. Seidman.
Review of Economic Studies (2015) 82 (3): 825-867 is available online at:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations