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Subcommittee Agenda Control

Cheryl L. Eavey and Gary J. Miller

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1995, vol. 7, issue 2, 125-156

Abstract: The conventional wisdom holds that standing committees and subcommittees gain disproportionate influence over the policy decisions for which they have agenda control. Two solution concepts which make predictions about the influence of decentralized agenda setters are the structure-induced equilibrium (SIE) and the structural core; they differ in their predictions because the latter (but not the former) assumes that logrolling across agenda jurisdictions will occur. Experimental evidence suggests that agenda setters do bargain across jurisdictions (contrary to the SIE), and that the outcome of this bargaining process determines the value of agenda control to the agenda setters. When both subcommittee agenda setters have preferences that diverge sharply from those of the parent committee, agenda setters have an unambiguous incentive to cooperate with each other. When one subcommittee agenda setter has preferences more representative of the parent committee, the more extreme agenda setter is at a bargaining disadvantage.

Keywords: committee; coalition; legislature; agenda; laboratory experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1995
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