New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2006‒12‒09
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. Condorcet domains and distributive lattices. By Bernard Monjardet
  2. New Measure of Voting Power By František Turnovec
  3. Voting Over Type and Generosity of a Pension System When Some Individuals are Myopic By Cremer, Helmuth; De Donder, Philippe; Maldonado, Darío; Pestieau, Pierre
  4. Garbled Elections By Schmitz, Patrick W.; Tröger, Thomas
  5. Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes By Kelly Shue; Erzo F.P. Luttmer
  6. Voting blocks, Coalitions and parties By Eguia, Jon X.
  7. On the Manipulability of Proportional Representation By SLINKO, Arkadii; WHITE, Shaun
  8. Self-Selective Social Choice Functions By SLINKO, Arkadii; KORAY, Semih
  9. Single-Peaked Choice By BOSSERT, Walter; PETERS, Hans
  10. On Complexity of Lobbying in Multiple Referenda By CHRISTSTIAN, Robin; FELLOWS, Mike; ROSAMOND, Frances
  11. Electoral Competition and Incentives to Local Public Good Provision By M. Magnani
  12. A Characterization of Consistent Collective Choice Rules By BOSSERT, Walter; SUZUMURA, Kotaro
  13. A Note on Fairness, Power, Property, and Behind the Veil By Martin Shubik

  1. By: Bernard Monjardet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Condorcet domains are sets of linear orders where Condorcet's effect can never occur. Works of Abello, Chameni-Nembua, Fishburn and Galambos and Reiner have allowed a strong understanding of a significant class of Condorcet domains which are distributive lattices -in fact covering distributive sublattices of the permutoèdre lattice- and which can be obtained from a maximal chain of this lattice. We describe this class and we study three particular types of such Condorcet domains.
    Keywords: Acyclic set, alternating scheme, Condorcet effect, distributive lattice, maximal chain of permutations, permutoèdre lattice.
    Date: 2006–11
  2. By: František Turnovec (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: During last two decades we observe a boom of power indices literature related to constitutional analysis of European Union institutions and distribution of intrainstitutional and inter-institutional influence in the European Union decision making. Growing interest to power indices methodology leads also to reconsideration of the methodology itself. In this paper a new general a priori voting power measure is proposed distinguishing between absolute and relative power. This power measure covers traditional Shapley-Shubik and Penrose-Banzhaf power indices as its special cases.
    Keywords: Absolute power; cooperative games; decisive situation; I-power; pivot; power indices; P-power; relative power; swing
    JEL: D71 D74
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Cremer, Helmuth; De Donder, Philippe; Maldonado, Darío; Pestieau, Pierre
    Abstract: This paper studies the determination through majority voting of a pension scheme when society consists of far-sighted and myopic individuals. All individuals have the same basic preferences but myopics tend to adopt a short term view (instant gratification) when dealing with retirement saving. Consequently, they will find themselves with low consumption after retirement and regret their insufficient savings decisions. Henceforth, when voting they tend to commit themselves into forced saving. We consider a pension scheme that is characterized by two parameters: the payroll tax rate (that determines the size or generosity of the system) and the 'Bismarckian factor' that determines its redistributiveness. Individuals vote sequentially. We examine how the introduction of myopic agents affects the generosity and the redistributiveness of the pension system. Our main result is that a flat pension system is always chosen when all individuals are of one kind (all far-sighted or all myopic), while a less redistributive system may be chosen if society is composed of both myopic and far-sighted agents. Furthermore, while myopic individuals tend to prefer larger payroll taxes than their far-sighted counterparts, the generosity of the system does not always increase with the proportion of myopics.
    Keywords: dual-self model; myopia; social security
    JEL: D91 H55
    Date: 2006–11
  4. By: Schmitz, Patrick W.; Tröger, Thomas
    Abstract: Majority rules are frequently used to decide whether or not a public good should be provided, but will typically fail to achieve an efficient provision. We provide a worst-case analysis of the majority rule with an optimally chosen majority threshold, assuming that voters have independent private valuations and are ex-ante symmetric (provision cost shares are included in the valuations). We show that if the population is large it can happen that the optimal majority rule is essentially no better than a random provision of the public good. But the optimal majority rule is worst-case asymptotically efficient in the large-population limit if (i) the voters' expected valuation is bounded away from 0, and (ii) an absolute bound for valuations is known.
    Keywords: majority rule; public goods
    JEL: D72 D82
    Date: 2006–11
  5. By: Kelly Shue (Harvard University); Erzo F.P. Luttmer (Harvard University, NBER and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: If voters are fully rational and have negligible cognition costs, ballot layout should not affect election outcomes. In this paper, we explore deviations from rational voting using quasirandom variation in candidate name placement on ballots from the 2003 California Recall Election. We find that the voteshares of minor candidates almost double when their names are adjacent to the names of major candidates on a ballot. Voteshare gains are largest in precincts with high percentages of Democratic, Hispanic, low-income, non-English speaking, poorly educated, or young voters. A major candidate that attracts a disproportionate share of voters from these types of precincts faces a systematic electoral disadvantage. If the Republican frontrunner Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic frontrunner Cruz Bustamante had been in a tie, adjacency misvoting would have given Schwarzenegger an edge of 0.06% of the voteshare. This gain in voteshare exceeds the margins of victory in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election and the 2004 Washington Gubernatorial Election. We explore which voting technology platforms and brands mitigate misvoting.
    Keywords: bounded rationality, voting mistakes, ballot design, voting technology, voter intent, electoral systems, electoral reform
    JEL: D01 D72 D83 J10
    Date: 2006–11
  6. By: Eguia, Jon X.
    Date: 2006–10
  7. By: SLINKO, Arkadii; WHITE, Shaun
    Abstract: This paper presents a new model of voter behaviour under methods of proportional representation (PR). We abstract away from rounding, and assume that a party securing k percent of the vote wins exactly k percent of the available seats. Under this assumption PR is not manipulable by any voter aiming at maximisation of the number of seats in the parliament of her most preferred party. However in this paper we assume that voters are concerned, first and foremost, with the distribution of power in the post-election parliament. We show that, irrespective of which positional scoring rule is adopted, there will always exist circumstances where a voter would have an incentive to vote insincerely. We demonstrate that a voter’s attitude toward uncertainty can influence her incentives to make an insincere vote. Finally, we show that the introduction of a threshold - a rule that a party must secure at least a certain percentage of the vote in order to reach parliament - creates new opportunities for strategic voting. We use the model to explain voter behaviour at the most recent New Zealand general election.
    Keywords: rliament choosing rule, ortional reesentation, wer index, strategic voting, manilability.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2006
  8. By: SLINKO, Arkadii; KORAY, Semih
    Abstract: It is not uncommon that a society facing a choice problem has also to choose the choice rule itself. In such situation voters’ preferences on alternatives induce preferences over the voting rules. Such a setting immediately gives rise to a natural question concerning consistency between these two levels of choice. If a choice rule employed to resolve the society’s original choice problem does not choose itself when it is also used in choosing the choice rule, then this phenomenon can be regarded as inconsistency of this choice rule as it rejects itself according to its own rationale. Koray (2000) proved that the only neutral, unanimous universally self-selective social choice functions are the dictatorial ones. Here we in troduce to our society a constitution, which rules out inefficient social choice rules. When inefficient social choice rules become unavailable for comparison, the property of self-selectivity becomes weaker and we show that some non-trivial self-selective social choice functions do exist. Under certain assumptions on the constitution we describe all of them.
    Keywords: social choice function, social choice corresndence, self-selectivity, resistance to cloning
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2006
  9. By: BOSSERT, Walter; PETERS, Hans
    Abstract: Single-peaked preferences have played an important role in the literature ever since they were used by Black (1948) to formulate a domain restriction that is sufficient for the exclusion of cycles according to the majority rule. In this paper, we approach single-peakedness from a choice-theoretic perspective. We show that the well-known axiom independence of irrelevant alternatives (a form of contraction consistency) and a weak continuity requirement characterize a class of single-peaked choice functions. Moreover, we examine the rationalizability and the rationalizability-representability of these choice functions.
    Keywords: Single-akedness, choice functions, rationalizability, reesentability
    JEL: D11 D71
    Date: 2006
  10. By: CHRISTSTIAN, Robin; FELLOWS, Mike; ROSAMOND, Frances
    Abstract: In this paper we show that lobbying in conditions of “direct democracy” is virtually impossible, even in conditions of complete information about voters preferences, since it would require solving a very computationally hard problem. We use the apparatus of parametrized complexity for this purpose.
    Keywords: lobbying, referendum, rametrized comexity
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2006
  11. By: M. Magnani
    Abstract: Local public good provision from different government levels is subject to many bias coming from the political process; incentives indeed, vary with the size of the beneficiaries’ set and costs may affect the results of political competition by reducing total resources available for redistribution. Present work represents a first attempt to look at these issues together; indeed, it considers the situation where politicians have a finite budget to use both for redistributive policies and for the provision of a public good that affects the utility of a fraction of the electorate. In this setting it is not enough that benefits balance costs, in order for the public good to be implemented; the required level of efficiency moreover, is influenced by benefits concentration. If those interested in the public good are less than half of the electorate, concentration increases the efficiency threshold; on the contrary if they amount for more, benefits concentration decreases the required level of efficiency. Classification-JEL: D72, H41
    Keywords: social security, turnover on the labor market, political equilibria, employment protection, retirement age
    Date: 2006
  12. By: BOSSERT, Walter; SUZUMURA, Kotaro
    Abstract: We characterize a class of collective choice rules such that collective preference relations are consistent. Consistency is a weakening of transitivity and a strengthening of acyclicity requiring that there be no cycles with at least one strict preference. The properties used in our characterization are unrestricted domain, strong Pareto, anonymity and neutrality. If there are at most as many individuals as there are alternatives, the axioms provide an alternative characterization of the Pareto rule. If there are more individuals than alternatives, however, further rules become available.
    Keywords: Collective Choice Rules, Consistency, Pareto Rule
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2006
  13. By: Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: An Axiomatization for Power and for Equity differ only in the addition of a Behind the Veil Axiom.
    Keywords: Value, Behind the veil, Power, Equity, Ownership
    JEL: C71 D63
    Date: 2006–11

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