Skip to main content


Agenda-setting power in organizations with overlapping generations of players


Speaker:Abhinay Muthoo, University of Essex
Date: Wednesday 10 March 2004
Time: 16:15
Location: Room 106 Streatam Court

Further details

(with Kenneth Shepsle)

This paper presents an analysis of the allocation of agenda-setting (or bargaining) power in organizations with overlapping generations of players. Such powers are typically institutionalized within an organization's structure, and, given the focus of this paper, we identify the former with the latter. Our analysis concerns organizations (such as the US Senate) in which the number of periods each player participates is endogenously determined by his or her past performance. We derive several results and insights concerning (i) optimal organizational structure and (ii) conditions under which the unique, dynamically optimal outcome can be sustained (in equilibrium) in organizations with suboptimal structures. For example, we show that under a broad set of conditions, the optimal organizational structure should be one in which most of the agenda-setting power is allocated to the oldest generation of players.