The formateurs' role in government formation

Daniel J. Seidmann*, Eyal Winter, Elan Pavlov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Following an election, Heads of State typically choose a formateur to report back a prospective government by some deadline. If this formateur fails then another party leader is chosen on the same terms. We model this mechanism as a bargaining game, in which a single party leader has exclusive access to the Head of State, but does not have a monopoly on making proposals. We characterize the unique equilibrium of the game in which all parties are symmetric and parties split a fixed-size pie. We also show that supra-minimal governments may form when parties are asymmetrically sized: a result consistent with the evidence on government formation in countries which use a formateur mechanism.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)427-445
Number of pages19
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Formateurs
  • Government formation
  • Sequential bargaining


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