Testing Formal Theories of Political Rhetoric

Charles Cameron, John S. Lapinski, Charles R. Riemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Using a newly constructed dataset of 443 episodes of legislative bargaining between the president and Congress, we evaluate two game theoretic models of political bargaining: Matthews’ coordination model and Ingberman and Yao's commitment model. We empirically test whether political rhetoric (i.e., presidential veto threats) are important in bargaining over public policy in the United States between 1946 and 1992. The paper provides empirical insight into presidential power and also addresses some difficult issues in the empirical evaluation of formal models with necessary conditions, sufficient conditions, or no stochastic components. We find that the coordination model does a better job than the commitment model of accounting for the data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-205
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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