Ministerial Weights and Government Formation: Estimation Using a Bargaining Model
Posted: 23 Jun 2008
Date Written: May 2008
This article proposes a method to estimate relative ministerial weights in parliamentary democracies. Specifically, we present a bargaining model of government formation and estimate structural parameters of the model using data for (i) who the formateurs are, (ii) what each party's voting weight is, and (iii) what ministerial seats each party obtains. We also measure the effects of voting weights and formateur advantage on bargaining results. We apply our proposed method to the case of Japan. Our estimation results show that political players value pork-related posts (such as the Minister of Construction) much more than prestigious ones (such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs). We also find that there is a significant formateur advantage, whereas voting weights do not have a significant scale effect, which is consistent with the findings for European democracies.
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