New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2006‒09‒16
seven papers chosen by

  1. Judgment aggregation on restricted domains By Dietrich Franz; List Christian
  2. Judgment aggregation without full rationality By Dietrich Franz; List Christian
  3. Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior By Cesar Martinelli
  4. Weighted Approval Voting By Jordi Masso³; Marc Vorsatz
  5. Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation: A Comment By Cesar Martinelli
  6. Board Size Effects in Closely Held Corporations By Bennedsen, Morten; Kongsted, Hans Christian; Nielsen, Kasper Meisner
  7. Social Welfare Functions that Satisfy Pareto, Anonymity, and Neutrality: Countable Many Alternatives By Donald E. Campbell; Jerry S. Kelly

  1. By: Dietrich Franz; List Christian (METEOR)
    Abstract: We show that, when a group takes independent majority votes on interconnected propositions, the outcome is consistent once the profile of individual judgment sets respects appropriate structural conditions. We introduce several such conditions on profiles, based on ordering the propositions or ordering the individuals, and we clarify the relations between these conditions. By restricting the conditions to appropriate subagendas, we obtain local conditions that are less demanding but still guarantee consistent majority judgments. By applying the conditions to agendas representing preference aggregation problems, we show parallels of some conditions to existing social-choice-theoretic conditions, specifically to order restriction and intermediateness, restricted to triples of alternatives in the case of our local conditions.
    Keywords: mathematical economics;
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Dietrich Franz; List Christian (METEOR)
    Abstract: Several recent results on the aggregation of judgments over logically connected propositions show that, under certain conditions, dictatorships are the only independent (i.e., propositionwise) aggregation rules generating fully rational (i.e., complete and consistent) collective judgments. A frequently mentioned route to avoid dictatorships is to allow incomplete collective judgments. We show that this route does not lead very far: we obtain (strong) oligarchies rather than dictatorships if instead of full rationality we merely require that collective judgments be deductively closed, arguably a minimal condition of rationality (compatible even with empty judgment sets). We derive several characterizations of oligarchies and provide illustrative applications to Arrowian preference aggregation and Kasher and Rubinstein''s group identification problem.
    Keywords: mathematical economics;
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Cesar Martinelli (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))
    Abstract: We model a two-alternative election in which voters may acquire information about which is the best alternative for all voters. Voters differ in their cost of acquiring information. We show that as the number of voters increases, the fraction of voters who acquire information declines to zero. However, if the support of the cost distribution is not bounded away from zero, there is an equilibrium with some information acquisition for arbitrarily large electorates. This equilibrium dominates in terms of welfare any equilibrium without information acquisition--even though generally there is too little information acquisition with respect to an optimal strategy profile.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2005–10
  4. By: Jordi Masso³; Marc Vorsatz
    Abstract: To allow society to treat unequal alternatives distinctly we propose a natural extension of Approval Voting by relaxing the assumption of neutrality. According to this extension, every alternative receives ex-ante a non-negative and finite weight. These weights may differ across alternatives. Given the voting decisions of every individual (individuals are allowed to vote for, or approve of, as many alternatives as they wish to), society elects all alternatives for which the product of total number of votes times exogenous weight is maximal. Our main result is an axiomatic characterization of this voting procedure.
    Keywords: Approval Voting, Neutrality
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2006–09–04
  5. By: Cesar Martinelli (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))
    Abstract: In a very influential paper, Shachar and Nalebuff (1999) develop and estimate structurally a pivotal-leader model of political participation, focusing on the first-order condition of the problem solved by the leaders of two political parties. This note (1) shows that the problem of the party leaders is not necessarily concave, (2) provides conditions for concavity, and (3) attempts to verify whether these conditions hold for the parameter values estimated by Shachar and Nalebuff.
    Date: 2005–11
  6. By: Bennedsen, Morten (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Kongsted, Hans Christian (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Nielsen, Kasper Meisner (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Previous work on board size effects in closely held corporations has established a negative correlation between board size and firm performance. We argue that this work has been incomplete in analysing the causal relationship due to lack of ownership information and weak identification strategies in simultanous equation analysis. In the present paper we reexamine the causal relationship between board size and firm performance using a dataset of more than 5,000 small and medium sized closely held corporations with complete ownership information and detailed accounting data. We test the potential endogeneity of board size by using a new instrument given by the number of children of the founders of the firms. Our analysis shows that board size can be taken as exogenous in the performance equation. Furthermore, based on a flexible model specification we find that there is no empirical evidence of adverse board size effects in the typical range of three to six board members. Finally, we find a significantly negative board size effect in the minority of closely held firms which have comparatively large boards of seven or more members.
    Keywords: board size effects; boards
    JEL: H00
    Date: 2006–09–07
  7. By: Donald E. Campbell (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Jerry S. Kelly (Department of Economics, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: For a finite number of alternatives, in the presence of Pareto, non-dictatorship, full domain, and transitivity, an extremely weak independence condition is incompatible with each of anonymity and neutrality (Campbell and Kelly [2006]). This paper explores how those results are affected when there are countably many alternatives.
    Keywords: Pareto, anonymity, neutrality
    JEL: D70 D71
    Date: 2006–09–11

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