Authors: Luigi Curini and Andrea Ceron
Published: Journal of Legislative Studies (forthcoming)
As long as they are interested in policies, parties have always incentives for affecting the outcome of a cabinet bargaining process. Of course, they do not necessarily enjoy the same ability in doing so. Being a member of a government, for example, should increase the leverage a party enjoys during the bargaining process on a given cabinet program. Still, depending on the institutional and political conditions, also non-cabinet parties can have a voice in affecting cabinet policy positions. This happens in particular when the agenda-setting power enjoyed by the cabinet is low, or when the majority is not well disciplined, or both. By focusing on the cabinet bargaining outcomes during the so-called First Italian Republic, a textbook example of the latter situation, we show that spatial advantages connected to parliamentary dynamics, and therefore opened to non-cabinet parties as well, can be no less relevant in capturing policy-payoffs than government membership, even after controlling for other relevant institutional and behavioural factors.