A Theory of Gridlock: Strategic Behavior in Legislative Deliberations
This paper studies compromise and inflexibility in political negotiations. It provides the first analysis of gridlock, a result in which politicians fail to agree on an ideal compromise but which most voters find preferable to the status quo. A multistage game is developed in which contending political blocs choose from hardline or compromise strategies. The outcomes compromise, gridlock, or one party's ideal legislation—are a function of the incentives of political actors to cooperate or fight. The model illustrates problems in political markets that may occur when consumers are poorly informed.
Osborne, E. W.
(1998). A Theory of Gridlock: Strategic Behavior in Legislative Deliberations. Atlantic Economic Journal, 26 (3), 238-251.