New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒01‒13
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies By Torsten Persson; Gerard Roland; Guido Tabellini
  2. Women: From Wife to Citizen By Matthias Doepke; Michele Tertilt
  3. Robust Rational Turnout By Tasos Kalandrakis
  4. The Dynamic (In)efficiency of Monetary Policy by Committee By Alessandro Riboni; Francisco Ruge-Murcia
  5. Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States By Daron Acemoglu; Davide Ticchi; Andrea Vindigni
  6. On Concept Lattices of Efficiently Solvable Voting Protocols By Stefano Vannucci
  7. The Proportional Lottery Protocol is Strongly Participatory and VNM-Strategy-Proof By Stefano Vannucci
  8. Redistribution, Taxes, and the Median Voter By Marco Bassetto; Jess Benhabib
  9. IncumbentsÕ Interests, VotersÕ Bias and Gender Quotas By Guillaume R., FRECHETTE; Franois, MANIQUET; Massimo, MORELLI
  10. The strategy structure of some coalition formation games By Gabrielle Demange
  11. Knowing what others Know: Coordination motives in information acquisition By Christian Hellwig; Laura Veldkamp

  1. By: Torsten Persson; Gerard Roland; Guido Tabellini
    Date: 2006–12–30
  2. By: Matthias Doepke; Michele Tertilt (Economics Stanford University)
    Keywords: women's suffrage, voting
    JEL: E0 J12
    Date: 2006–12–03
  3. By: Tasos Kalandrakis (W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy, 107 Harkness Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0158)
    Abstract: We establish that, except for a finite set of common costs of participation, all equilibria of a class of complete information voting games (as in Palfrey and Rosenthal (1983)) are regular. Thus, all the equilibria of these games (including those exhibiting high turnout rates) are robust to small but arbitrary payoff perturbations, and survive in nearby games with incomplete information about voting costs and/or about the fraction of supporters of the two candidates. We also show that all the equilibria of these complete information games exhibit minimal heterogeneity of behavior, so that the strategies of indifferent players are characterized by at most two probabilities.
    Keywords: Turnout, Regular Equilibrium.
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Alessandro Riboni; Francisco Ruge-Murcia (Economics University of Montreal)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model where the value of the monetary policy instrument is selected by a heterogenous committee engaged in a dynamic voting game. Committee members differ in their institutional power and, in certain states of nature, they also differ in their preferred instrument value. Preference heterogeneity and concern for the future interact to generate decisions that are dynamically inefficient and inertial around the previously-agreed instrument value. This model endogenously generates autocorrelation in the policy variable and provides an explanation for the empirical observation that the nominal interest rate under the central bank's control is infrequently adjusted
    Keywords: Committees, status-quo bias, interest-rate smoothing, dynamic voting
    JEL: E58 D02
    Date: 2006–12–03
  5. By: Daron Acemoglu; Davide Ticchi; Andrea Vindigni
    Abstract: Inefficiencies in the bureaucratic organization of the state are often viewed as important factors in retarding economic development. Why certain societies choose or end up with such inefficient organizations has received very little attention, however. In this paper, we present a simple theory of the emergence and persistence of inefficient states. The society consists of rich and poor individuals. The rich are initially in power, but expect to transition to democracy, which will choose redistributive policies. Taxation requires the employment of bureaucrats. We show that, under certain circumstances, by choosing an inefficient state structure, the rich may be able to use patronage and capture democratic politics. This enables them to reduce the amount of redistribution and public good provision in democracy. Moreover, the inefficient state creates its own constituency and tends to persist over time. Intuitively, an inefficient state structure creates more rents for bureaucrats than would an efficient state structure. When the poor come to power in democracy, they will reform the structure of the state to make it more efficient so that higher taxes can be collected at lower cost and with lower rents for bureaucrats. Anticipating this, when the society starts out with an inefficient organization of the state, bureaucrats support the rich, who set lower taxes but also provide rents to bureaucrats. We show that in order to generate enough political support, the coalition of the rich and the bureaucrats may not only choose an inefficient organization of the state, but they may further expand the size of bureaucracy so as to gain additional votes. The model shows that an equilibrium with an inefficient state is more likely to arise when there is greater inequality between the rich and the poor, when bureaucratic rents take intermediate values and when individuals are sufficiently forward-looking.
    Keywords: bureaucracy, corruption, democracy, patronage politics, political economy, public goods, redistributive politics.
    JEL: P16 H11 H26 H41
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Stefano Vannucci
    Abstract: It is shown that concept lattices can be attached in a natural way to any voting protocol. The concept lattices of some voting protocols that are solvable with respect to some prominnent solution concepts and outcome-efficient are studied: it is proved that they typically amount to chains
    JEL: C70 D70 D71
    Date: 2006–11
  7. By: Stefano Vannucci
    Abstract: A voting protocol is said to be strongly participatory if for any player i and any strategy profile either the outcome is i‘s preferred one or has a strategy which would ensure her a better outcome, and VNMstrategy proof if at any preference profile the set of sincere strategies of each player is a VNM-stable set. It is shown that the proportional lottery (PL) modular voting protocol is both strongly participatory and VNMstrategy proof.
    JEL: D70 D71
    Date: 2006–11
  8. By: Marco Bassetto (Research Department Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Jess Benhabib
    Abstract: We study a simple model of production, accumulation, and redistribution, where agents are heterogeneous in their initial wealth, and a sequence of redistributive tax rates is voted upon. Though the policy is infinite-dimensional, we prove that a median voter theorem holds if households have identical, Gorman aggregable preferences; furthermore, the tax policy preferred by the median voter has the "bang-bang" property
    Keywords: Median voter, gorman aggregation, capital income taxes
    JEL: H21 H23
    Date: 2006–12–03
  9. By: Guillaume R., FRECHETTE; Franois, MANIQUET (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics); Massimo, MORELLI
    Abstract: The adoption of gender quotas in party lists has been a voluntary decision by many parties in many countries, and is now a subject of discussion in many others. The Parity Law passed in France in 2001 is particularly interesting because for the first time the quota was set at 50 percent, and the deputies passing the reform are elected in single member districts. In this paper we rationalize parity on thd basis of the self interest of male incumbent deputies. The existence of a votersÕ bias in favor of male candidates is sufficient to convince the incumbents to advocate for equal gender representation in party lists, because it raises the incumbentsÕ chance of being re-elected. We confirm empirically the existence of male bias in the French electorate and we show that parity law may have Assembly composition effects and policy effects that vary with the electoral system.
    Date: 2006–03–30
  10. By: Gabrielle Demange
    Abstract: In coalitional games with side payments, the core predicts which coalitions form and how benefits are shared. The predictions however run into difficulties if the core is empty or if some coalitions benefit from not blocking truthfully. These difficulties are analyzed in games in which an a priori given collection of coalitions can form, as the collection of pairs of buyer-seller in an assignment game. The incentive properties of the core and of its selections are investigated in function of the collection. Furthermore the relationships with Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanisms are drawn.
    Date: 2006
  11. By: Christian Hellwig (Department of Economics University of California Los Angeles); Laura Veldkamp
    Abstract: When a large number of agents play a game with strategic complementarity, information choices exhibit strategic complementarity as well: If an agent wants to do what others do, then they want to know what others know. Likewise, strategic substitutability in actions produces strategic substitutability in information acquisition. The uniqueness or multiplicity of coordination game equilibria depends on whether information choice is discrete or continuous and whether the information is public or private. We use these results to explore how optimal information choices change the dynamic predictions of well-known macroeconomic theories.
    Keywords: Costly Information Acquisition, strategic complements, multiple equilibria
    JEL: D83 C72 C73
    Date: 2006–12–03

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