New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2005‒10‒22
five papers chosen by

  1. Re-examining Voter Turnout in Large Elections By Taylor, Curtis; Yildirim, Huseyin
  2. Proposal Power and Majority Rule in Multilateral Bargaining with Costly Recognition By Yildirim, Huseyin
  3. Public Information and Electoral Bias By Taylor, Curtis; Yildirim, Huseyin
  4. Can Public Discussion Enhance Program Ownership? By Peter Isard; Allan Drazen
  5. Mean voting rule and strategical behavior: an experiment By Marchese, Carla; Montefiori, Marcello

  1. By: Taylor, Curtis; Yildirim, Huseyin
    Abstract: A well-known shortcoming of rational voter models is that the equilibrium probability that an individual votes converges to zero as the population of citizens tends to infinity. We show that this does not – as is often suggested – imply that equilibrium voter turnout is insignificant in the limit. We characterize limiting equilibrium turnout and show that it may actually be arbitrarily large. Indeed, expected equilibrium turnout is shown to be closely approximated by 1/ where c is the lowest possible realization of an individual’s voting cost.
  2. By: Yildirim, Huseyin
    Abstract: This paper studies a sequential bargaining model in which, as in the rent-seeking literature, agents expend resources to be the proposer, and agreement requires affirmative votes of either all agents or a subset of them. By focusing on the Stationary Subgame Perfect Equilibrium, it is found that (1) under the unanimity voting rule, all agents expend the same amount of resources, regardless of their time preferences. (2) Under a nonunanimity rule however, more patient agents expend greater resources, and are thus more likely to propose. Yet, they can end up with a lower payoff than less patient agents. (3) While, under the unanimity rule, the social cost decreases in group heterogeneity, it can increase under a nonunanimity rule. (4) Bargaining as a coalition pays off only if the coalition is large enough. (5) When the surplus is endogenous to the group, groups that require more consensus in their distribution are more likely to expand; and (6) when bargaining delays are possible, costly recognition induces agents to reach an agreement too soon from the social standpoint, even under the unanimity rule..
  3. By: Taylor, Curtis; Yildirim, Huseyin
    Abstract: We present a theory of strategic voting that predicts elections are more likely to be close and voter turnout is more likely to be high when citizens possess better public information about the composition of the electorate. These findings are disturbing because they suggest that providing more information to potential voters about aggregate political preferences (e.g., through polls, political stock markets, or expert forecasts) may actually undermine the democratic process. We show that if the distribution of preferences is common knowledge, then strategic voting leads to a stark neutrality result in which the probability that either alternative wins the election is 12. This occurs because membersof the minority compensate exactly for their smaller group size by voting with higher frequency. By contrast, when citizens are symmetrically ignorant about the distribution of types, the majority is more likely to win the election and expected voter turnout is lower. Indeed, when the population is large and voting costs are small, the majority wins with probability arbitrarily close to one in equilibrium. Welfare is, therefore, unambiguously higher when citizens possess less information about the distribution of political preferences.
  4. By: Peter Isard; Allan Drazen
    Abstract: We use the concepts of deliberative democracy from political science and cheap talk from economics to develop a better understanding of how public discussion can contribute to building and demonstrating ownership of IMF programs and hence to program success. We argue that ownership is more complex than many discussions of it would suggest, since it must include not only the willingness to carry out a program, but also the technical capacity and especially the political ability to do so. Public discussion can serve a number of purposes, each of which can be better understood by moving to a more formal treatment. We illustrate our points by means of simple examples. We also consider some of the drawbacks of public discussion, especially as applied to IMF programs.
    Date: 2004–09–13
  5. By: Marchese, Carla; Montefiori, Marcello
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of voting about the quantity of a public good. An experiment has been run in order to test the extent of the strategic bias that arises in the individual vote when the social choice rule is to select the mean of the quantities voted for; conflicting theoretical predictions are available in the literature on this purpose. The political implications of the mean rule and its e.ects upon e.ciency are also discussed. The role of voters’ information is considered. A comparison is made with the working of the median rule.
    JEL: C91 D72
    Date: 2005–10

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