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James N. Druckman and Andrew Roberts, "Context and Coalition-bargaining: Comparing Portfolio Allocation in Eastern and Western Europe," Party Politics, 11 (September, 2005), 535-555.

First Paragraph:
Eastern European countries have adopted parliamentary institutions that resemble those in the West. This enables researchers to evaluate the effects of institutions in contrasting contexts. In this article, we study the impact of context on the allocation of government portfolios. We find that the distinct economic and cultural situation in less advanced Eastern European countries has a pronounced effect on coalition-bargaining over portfolios. In contrast, more advanced Eastern European countries exhibit patterns of allocation that match those found in the West. We discuss the implications of our results for studies of institutions and coalition theory.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Description of Eastern European data
Table 2. Portfolio allocation in Western and Eastern Europe
Table 3. Portfolio allocation in less advanced and advanced Eastern European countries
Table 4. Communist successor parties in less advanced Eastern European countries

Last Paragraph:
Overall, the results suggest that institutions &endash; while clearly of great importance &endash; do not operate independently of contextual forces. Interestingly, recent work in experimental economics echoes this point. In crosscultural experiments that resemble the type of bargaining processes put forth by Baron and Ferejohn's model, experimenters find that 'a culture's experience with the market conditions the fairness of [proposers'] offers' (Siegfried, 2004). This is a particularly important lesson for coalition theory. The past 15 years of work on parliamentary coalition has seen an increasing sensitivity to contextual conditions as represented in alternative institutions that shape party behavior (e.g. Martin and Stevenson, 2001; Strøm, 1990; Strøm et al., 1994; Strøm and Swindle, 2002). This work has started to close the gap between coalition theory and country-specific studies. However, there has been little attention to the cultural and economic plights of different countries and regions that affect behavior. We do not mean to imply that unmeasurable cultural differences drive coalition behavior. Rather, we see our results as suggesting that historical path dependency affects behavior and can be incorporated in what might be called informal institutions (see Mershon, 1994). As more varied countries adopt similar formal institutions, theorists need to attend to cultural and economic forces that can also systematically shape politicians' behaviors.