The micro-dynamics of coalition formation

Daniel Diermeier*, Roderick I. Swaab, Victoria Husted Medvec, Mary C. Kern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We present an experimental approach to study the micro-dynamics of coalition formation in an unrestricted bargaining environment. Specifically, we investigate a fundamental feature of sequential coalition bargaining models: expectations about future bargaining behavior will influence current bargaining outcomes. To do so, we test the hypothesis that coalition bargaining may lead to inefficient outcomes as agents are unable to effectively commit to preliminary agreements during the bargaining process. We conjecture that communication plays an important role in establishing such commitments. We then experimentally manipulate the communication channels and show that restrictions undermine trust and lead to decreased efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-501
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Coalition formation
  • Coalitions
  • Dynamics
  • Experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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