Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 August 2014
A new model of congressional compromise is constructed in which leadership, faced with a bill whose prospects are uncertain, is forced to compromise. Leadership has policy preferences of its own and seeks a compromise that will minimize its expected loss.
A reasonable expression for the probability of each outcome is assumed, and the form of the optimal compromise is derived based on two simple parameters. The solutions are quite revealing and support the expectation of compromises close to a 50-50 split under a broad range of conditions.