The role of governmental agreements in breaking political deadlock
Resistance to socially desired reforms may arise from uncertainty concerning the identity of winners and losers from reforms. Without a binding commitment, a promise to compensate losers will not raise support for reforms due to a credibility problem. This paper shows that voting simultaneously on several reforms may solve the credibility problem. It is argued that the governmental agreement in the Netherlands has served as a means to vote simultaneously on several reforms and has helped breaking political deadlocks. Moreover, we argue that the increased role of governmental agreements may have induced a mid-term cycle in electoral support for the government.