This year when congress is sworn in, almost half of the politicians on capital hill will be newly sworn in or with less than two years of experience. This has implications for the allocation of funds to projects throughout the country. The loss of many senior leader in the Senate will change the negotiations and deals made, and we can begin to model the outcomes of these power and experience shifts by implementing the Nash bargaining solution. Right now, politicians with seniority have caused other members on capital hill to have low outside options, as they cannot band as successfully with other lower ranking members. This power has allowed central members of congress like Tom Harkin and Daniel Inouye have swayed power to their sides for the pass decades while holding seats on committees the Senate Appropriations Committee which make dispersal decisions for state projects.
Now come 2014, 2 years after “the world was going to end”, and we end the tenure of many of these high profile congress members. This will allow for two things in regards to the Nash Bargaining Outcome, first, the power for the internal nodes in the bargaining graph will be up for grabs, essentially rolling the dice anew for who will be in the powerful positions. Second, when those positions are somewhat established, the outside options of other less powerful politicians should be greater, as since there are more younger congress members, there is a greater willingness to form coalitions.
This article also emphasized that seniority is not what it used to be in terms of power wielding in leadership positions. No longer are they the barons of the past. But, the article states, congress will lose an important aspect of the older leadership; the ability to get things done. Looking at a graph of nodes in a time series observing interactions, over time those interactions become more efficient, because each node learns about how to work in the given graph as well as find there ranking in the network of members, and also form strong ties over time. With many new congress members, the ties are weakened, and nodes must learn how to cooperate, as well as what ranking they have in the network. In the coming months it will be interesting to note the slowdown of legislation passed as well as the power shifts, not necessarily from party to party but also from politicians leaning different ways. Maybe this is the opportunity the citizens need to voice our opinions to the new members. What do you think?