nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2005‒12‒20
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Universita del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Provincial Interests and Political Integration: Voting in the French Maastricht Referendum By Andrew Austin
  2. Do Institutions of Direct Democracy Tame the Leviathan? Swiss Evidence on the Structure of Expenditure for Public Education By Justina A.V. Fischer
  3. Bargaining Sets of Majority Voting Games By Ron Holzman; Bezalel Peleg; Peter Sudholter
  4. Can Ambiguity in Electoral Competition be Explained by Projection Effects in Voters' Perceptions? By Thomas Jensen

  1. By: Andrew Austin
    Abstract: In September 1992 French voters in a national referendum approved the Maastrict Treaty, which instituted several provisions for closer European integration including creation of the Eurozone. This paper analyzes political and economic forces that affected French voters, and the links between the progress of European integration and changes in redistributive spending. Conventional wisdom ascribes the persistence of the Common Agricultural Program subsidies to the political power of farmers, although direct evidence of this has been sparse. The statistical analysis here finds that support for European integration is weaker, other things equal, in areas where farmers were most affected by the MacSharry reforms, which reduced some support prices and began the process of `decoupling' agricultural subsidies from production. Results also show previous support for European integration and pro-European politicians are correlated with stronger support for ratification, as are higher incomes and higher proportions of non-natives. The results are consistent with the view that European integration provides voters and taxpayers with a way to limit the influence of interest groups by shifting decisionmaking from a national to a supranational arena.
    Keywords: Referendum, agricultural subsidies, European integration, voting.
    JEL: H23 D72
    Date: 2005–11
  2. By: Justina A.V. Fischer
    Abstract: The deleterious impact of institutions of direct legislation on student performance found in studies for both the U.S. and Switzerland has raised the question of what its transmission channels are. For the U.S., an increase in the ratio of administrative to instructional spending and larger class sizes were observed, supporting the hypothesis of a Leviathan-like school administration. For Switzerland, using a cross-sectional time-series panel of sub-federal school expenditure and size of classes, no such effect is detected. This finding is in line with previous analyses in which efficiency gains in the provision of public goods for Switzerland have been found.
    Keywords: direct democracy, median voter, bureaucracy, public education
    JEL: H41 H72 I22
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Ron Holzman; Bezalel Peleg; Peter Sudholter
    Abstract: Let A be a finite set of m alternatives, let N be a finite set of n players and let R<sup>N</sup> be a profile of linear preference orderings on A of the players. Let u<sup>N</sup> be a profile of utility functions for R<sup>N</sup>. We define the NTU game V<sub>u<sup>N</sup></sub> that corresponds to simple majority voting, and investigate its Aumann-Davis-Maschler and Mas-Colell bargaining sets. The first bargaining set is nonempty for m <FONT FACE="Symbol">£</FONT> 3 and it may be empty for m <FONT FACE="Symbol">³</FONT> 4. However, in a simple probabilistic model, for fixed m, the probability that the Aumann-Davis-Maschler bargaining set is nonempty tends to one if n tends to infinity. The Mas-Colell bargaining set is nonempty for m <FONT FACE="Symbol">£</FONT> 5 and it may be empty for m <FONT FACE="Symbol">³</FONT> 6. Furthermore, it may be empty even if we insist that n be odd, provided that m is sufficiently large. Nevertheless, we show that the Mas-Colell bargaining set of any simple majority voting game derived from the k-th replication of R<sup>N</sup> is nonempty, provided that k <FONT FACE="Symbol">³</FONT> n + 2.
    Keywords: NTU game; voting game; majority rule; bargaining set
    JEL: C71 D71
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Thomas Jensen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Studies in political science and psychology suggest that voters' perceptions of political positions depend on their personal views of the candidates. A voter who likes/dislikes a candidate will perceive his position as closer to/further from his own than it really is (projection). Clearly these effects should be most pronounced when candidate positions are ambiguous. Thus a generally well liked candidate will have an incentive to take an ambiguous position. In this paper we construct a simple model to see under which conditions this incentive survives in the strategic setting of electoral competition, even if voters dislike ambiguity per se.
    Keywords: electoral competition; ambiguity; voter perception; cognitive balance; projection
    JEL: D72 D83 C72
    Date: 2005–12

This nep-cdm issue is ©2005 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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