New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2006‒05‒13
six papers chosen by

  1. Pork Barrel Cycles By Allan Drazen; Marcela Eslava
  2. Daughters and Left-Wing Voting By Andrew J. Oswald; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  3. Representing Different Constituencies: Electoral Rules in Bicameral Systems in Latin America and Their Impact on Political Representation By Detlef Nolte; Francisco Sánchez
  4. The LDP at 50: The Rise, Power Resources, and Perspectives of Japan’s Dominant Party By Patrick Köllner
  5. The Stability and Growth Pact: A European Answer to the Political Budget Cycle? By Thierry Warin; Kenneth Donahue
  6. Factionalism in Political Parties: An Analytical Framework for Comparative Studies By Patrick Köllner; Matthias Basedau

  1. By: Allan Drazen; Marcela Eslava
    Abstract: We present a model of political budget cycles in which incumbents influence voters by targeting government spending to specific groups of voters at the expense of other voters or other expenditures. Each voter faces a signal extraction problem: being targeted with expenditure before the election may reflect opportunistic manipulation, but may also reflect a sincere preference of the incumbent for the types of spending that voter prefers. We show the existence of a political equilibrium in which rational voters support an incumbent who targets them with spending before the election even though they know it may be electorally motivated. In equilibrium voters in the more "swing" regions are targeted at the expense of types of spending not favored by these voters. This will be true even if they know they live in swing regions. However, the responsiveness of these voters to electoral manipulation depends on whether they face some degree of uncertainty about the electoral importance of the group they are in. Use of targeted spending also implies voters can be influenced without election-year deficits, consistent with recent findings for established democracies.
    JEL: D72 E62 D78
    Date: 2006–05
  2. By: Andrew J. Oswald (University of Warwick and IZA Bonn); Nattavudh Powdthavee (University of London)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that daughters make people more left-wing. Having sons, by contrast, makes them more right-wing. Parents, politicians and voters are probably not aware of this phenomenon - nor are social scientists. The paper discusses its economic and evolutionary roots. It also speculates on where research might lead. The paper ends with a conjecture: left-wing individuals are people who come from families into which, over recent past generations, many females have been born.
    Keywords: voting, gender, daughters, political preferences, attitudes
    JEL: D1 D72 H1 J7
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: Detlef Nolte (GIGA Institute for Ibero-American Studies); Francisco Sánchez (Instituto Interuniversitario de Iberoamérica y Portugal, University of Salamanca)
    Abstract: This article analyzes the quantitative (mechanical) effects and qualitative (perceptions) effects on political representation of the election of two separate chambers in Latin America’s bicameral systems. After discussing the spread and strength of bicameralism in Latin America, we compare the different electoral systems for lower chambers and Senates. Our study shows that in a region characterized by relatively high levels of malapportionment in the first chamber, the second chamber reinforces the malapportionment in parliament. Representation tends to be much more disproportional in the upper chamber than in the lower house. Moreover, the differences in the electoral systems and district magnitudes for both chambers make it more difficult for women to win a seat in the Senate.
    Keywords: Latin America, Senates, bicameralism, electoral systems, malapportionment, gender quota
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Patrick Köllner (GIGA Institute of Asian Affairs)
    Abstract: Japan’s ruling party is a prime example of a dominant party. While dominant parties in other democracies around the world have lost their grip on power or have even disappeared altogether, the LDP is still going strong. What explains the success of the party? How did the LDP acquire its dominant position and how did it manage to cling to it? In an attempt to answer these questions, this paper discusses the rise, the power (re-)sources and the perspectives of Japan’s dominant party.
    Keywords: Liberal Democratic Party, Japan, dominant party, party competition, electoral system
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Thierry Warin; Kenneth Donahue
    Abstract: The existing literature on political budget cycles looks at the temptation for incumbent governments to run a greater deficit before an election by considering the characteristics of the incumbent. We propose here to look at the signals the incumbent receives from the voters. For this purpose, we consider the votes from the previous national elections and see whether they may influence the incumbent government to run a sound fiscal policy or an expansionary fiscal policy. However, since 1993 Europe has been equipped with two fiscal rules: a deficit and a debt ceiling. In this context, can we find evidence of a “political budget cycle” before 1993, and did the fiscal rules prevent the existence of a “political budget cycle” afterwards? To address these questions, we use a cross-sectional time series analysis of European countries from 1979 to 2005.
    Keywords: Stability and Growth Pact, Political Business Cycle, Political budget Cycle, Partisan Theory
    JEL: E6 F4 P43
    Date: 2006–06
  6. By: Patrick Köllner (GIGA Institute of Asian Affairs); Matthias Basedau (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Factionalism can affect the stability and institutionalization of parties and party systems and it can impact on the efficiency and legitimacy of political parties and political systems as a whole. Nevertheless, factionalism has only received scant attention in the comparative literature on political parties. As this paper shows, there is no dearth of conceptual approaches and hypotheses which can readily be used to advance the systematic analysis of factionalism. We survey the relevant literature and offer a comprehensive analytical framework to stimulate comparatively oriented and nuanced studies of the causes, characteristics and consequences of intra-party groups.
    Keywords: political parties, factionalism, party organization, electoral systems, party finance
    Date: 2005–12

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.