Bargaining complexity and the duration of government formation: Evidence from Flemish municipalities

Tom Blockmans, Benny Geys, Bruno Heyndels, Bram Mahieu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Government formation processes and the characteristics of the ensuing (coalition) governments have attracted a substantial amount of scholarly attention. Yet, only few scholars try to explain the duration of government formations. This article extends the latter literature by examining the duration of government formations at the local government level. Using a unique new dataset of parties' ideological self-placement and policy preferences, we develop a novel measure of the complexity of the bargaining environment, and show that bargaining parties' similarity in ideology or political priorities significantly reduces the time required to form a government. We also show that a more heterogeneous local population and an election result allowing for a larger set of mathematically feasible governments are associated with longer bargaining delays. The seat share of the largest party increases bargaining delays until it reaches 65%, but decreases it thereafter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPresentation at the ES Faculty Research Day 2014
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2014


  • Coalition formation


Dive into the research topics of 'Bargaining complexity and the duration of government formation: Evidence from Flemish municipalities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this