Scheduling Auctions and Proto-Parties in Legislatures
We consider the impact of the scaricity of plenary time in legislatures both on the outcome of the legislative bargaining process and the organization of the legislature itself. We do so by developing a novel model that we call scheduling auctions. In the model, the legislature is charged with allocating a fixed budget. Members can propose an allocation and the scheduling agent decides which one of the possible proposals will be considered by the entire legislature in plenary session for an up or down vote. We show in this simple setting that deciding which member should be selected as the scheduling agent endogenously induces the creation of nascent political arties that we call proto-parties. We also show that these legislative structures have positive welfare implications.