New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2005‒05‒07
nine papers chosen by

  1. Tax Policy Design in The Presence of Social Preferences: Some Experimental Evidence By Lucy F. Ackert; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez; Mark Rider
  2. Defending an Unjust System: How Johnson v. Bush Upheld Felon Disenfranchisement and Perpetuated Voter Inequality in Florida By Nathan Litwin
  3. On Asymmetric Behaviors if Voting is Costly By Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni
  4. The Capability Concept and the Evolution of European Social Policy By Simon Deakin
  6. ON COMMITTED CITIZEN-CANDIDATES By Carlos Maravall Rodríguez
  7. Opening the black box of intra-household decision-making: theory and non-parametric empirical tests of general collective consumption models By Cherchye,Laurens; Rock,Bram de; Vermeulen,Frederic
  8. Revisiting Appraisal Politics from Assessors’ Perspective By Dhiman Amit; Singh Manjari
  9. Formation of Collective Decision-Making Units: Stability and a Solution By Fan-chin Kung

  1. By: Lucy F. Ackert; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University); Mark Rider (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of experiments designed to examine whether a taste for fairness affects people’s preferred tax structure. Building on the Fehr and Schmidt (1999) model we devise a simple test for the presence of social preferences in voting for alternative tax structures. The experimental results show that individuals demonstrate concern for their own payoff and inequality aversion in choosing between alternative tax structures. However, concern for redistribution decreases when it leads to increasing deadweight losses. Our findings have important implications for the design of optimal tax theory.
    Keywords: tax policy, social preferences, fairness
    Date: 2004–11–01
  2. By: Nathan Litwin (None)
    Abstract: In 2002 the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida decided the case of Johnson v. Bush. The case was brought by local Florida attorneys and the Brennan Center, a civil rights organization based in New York, on behalf of a class of disenfranchised ex-felons in Florida. The class action challenged Article VI § 4 of Florida's Constitution and additional Florida regulations that denied convicted felons the right to vote. Under the state constitution, disenfranchisement is permanent after commission of a felony unless a pardon is granted by the Governor with the approval of three members of the cabinet. The Plaintiffs asserted that these laws violated the First, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution, Sections 2 and 10 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff's claims of law were denied and the case is currently on appeal.
    Keywords: Voting Rights,
  3. By: Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni
    Abstract: Most of the voting models restrict themselves to the analysis of symmetric equilibria, i.e. equilibria in which ‘similar’ voters make ‘similar’ voting decisions. In this paper we investigate this assumption under costly plurality voting. In any pure strategy equilibrium, if two active voters have the same preference order over candidates, they do vote for the same candidate. However, as an example shows, this type of result cannot be hoped for mixed strategies equilibria.
    Keywords: Strategic Voting, Symmetric Equilibria
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Simon Deakin
    Abstract: Amartya Sen’s capability approach has the potential to counter neoliberal critiques of social welfare systems by overcoming the false opposition between security and flexibility. In particular, it can be used to promote the idea of social rights as the foundation of active participation by individuals in the labour market. This idea is starting to be reflected in the case law of the European Court of Justice concerning free movement of persons but its use in the European employment strategy is so far more limited, thanks to the continuing influence of neoliberal ‘activation policies’.
    Keywords: capabilities, welfare state, social rights, European Union law
    JEL: J38 K31
  5. By: Carlos Maravall Rodriguez
    Abstract: Does electoral competition make candidates reveal information that voters value? I study this question in a Downsian model of a repeated election consistent with six stylized facts of US Presidential Elections: (i) there are two candidates/parties, (ii) they are longlived, (iii) there is majority rule, competition is over many issues at a time (iv) some on which voters disagree, (v) others on which they do not, and (vi) prior to the election, not all information that voters value is available to them. In this election, even if candidates compete in multidimensional space and appear ex-ante identical, Nash equilibria exist.
    Date: 2005–04
  6. By: Carlos Maravall Rodríguez
    Abstract: I study if the equilibria of the citizen-candidate model analyzed in Osborne and Slivinski (1996) are robust to some degree of commitment from candidates. In particular, I consider a technology that allows candidates to commit to any policy as long as they prefer it to any other in the race. That is, commitment is costless to positions closer to one’s ideal point than any other candidate’s position, but it is too costly to positions further away. If voters are sincere, as in the reference above, this ensures candidates always vote for themselves. I show that, for the most common population distributions, all the multiple candidate equilibria analyzed in the above reference are not equilibria in this model, as the unique equilibrium with four or less candidates has a single candidate entering.
    Date: 2005–04
  7. By: Cherchye,Laurens; Rock,Bram de; Vermeulen,Frederic (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We non-parametrically test a general collective consumption model with public consumption and externalities inside the household. We further propose a novel approach to model special cases of the general collective model. These special cases include alternative restrictions on the 'sharing rule' that applies to each household, and which defines the distribution of the household budget over the household members. A limiting case is the unitary model. Our application uses data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS); the panel structure of this data set allows non-parametric testing of the behavioral models without relying on preference homogeneity assumptions across similar individuals. This application includes test results but also a power analysis for different specifications of the collective consumption model. Our main findings are that the most general collective model, together with a large class of special but still fairly general cases, cannot be rejected by the data, while other restricted versions of the general model, including the unitary alternative, are rejected. Since these tests are entirely non-parametric, this provides strong evidence in favor of models focusing on intra-household decisionmaking.
    JEL: D11 D12 C14
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Dhiman Amit; Singh Manjari
    Abstract: Past research on performance appraisal focusing on assessor’s ability to assess accurately has not made much progress because practitioners have not adopted most of the recommendations. One of the arguments has been that enhancing assessor’s ability to is useless unless s/he intends to appraise accurately. The focus of this paper is to understand assessor’s intention to appraise performance and it draws from political view of organisation, which considers assessor as a politician and proposes that certain contextual factors cause assessor’s to adopt goals other than accuracy. Specifically, it is proposed that, instrumentality of outcomes, ambiguity in the process/ policies, and accountability pressures shape the assessor’s perception of appraisal politics, which determine assessor’s intention to achieve specific goals through appraisal. Accountability research reveals that only specific accountability conditions have favourable affect on decision. While procedural accountability reduces assessor’s perception of appraisal politics, the outcome accountability will increase this perception and affect appraisal accuracy.
    Date: 2005–04–30
  9. By: Fan-chin Kung (Academia Sinica)
    Abstract: We study how individuals divide themselves into coalitions and choose a public alternative for each coalition. When preferences have consecutive support and coalition feasible sets are positively population- responsive, the proposed consecutive benevolence solution generates allocations belonging to the coalition structure core and that are also Tiebout equilibria. However, when each coalition follows a single-valued collective decision rule, the coalition structure core may be empty. Our results show that if individual preferences are, in a sense, similar and if members can be as well off when a coalition enlarges, then a stable formation of collective decision-making units can be guaranteed. A predetermined decision rule makes coalitions less stable.
    JEL: C62 C71 D71
    Date: 2005–05–05

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