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Legislators as Negotiators
Legislators as negotiators
David C.King
Richard J.Zeckhauser

All laws are born of negotiations. Politicians are the negotiators, yet they also act as agents, with constituents and other politicians as their principals. The settings and contexts for these negotiations, however, contrast sharply with those for lawyers, business executives, and sports agents, who are usually blessed with unified principals, quiet negotiation rooms, and the task of completing a single deal. Politicians often negotiate in a bubble, with interest groups, and with the media watching. Their constituents rarely speak with a single clear voice. Negotiations on dozens of issues happen simultaneously, some failing and some succeeding. This chapter introduces the interesting and distinctive world of legislative negotiations within the principal–agent framework. We discuss the role, mission, and authority ...

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