New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒01‒23
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Divided Government European Style? Electoral and Mechanical Causes of European Parliament and Council Divisions By Manow, Philip,; Holger Döring
  2. Energy Regulation, Roll Call Votes and Regional Resources: Evidence from Russia By Theocharis N. Grigoriadis; Benno Torgler
  3. Manipulation of the Running Variable in the Regression Discontinuity Design: A Density Test By Justin McCrary
  4. Political Parties in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Between politik aliran and ’Philippinisation’ By Andreas Ufen
  5. Collective Trust Behavior By Holm, Håkan; Nystedt, Paul
  6. State Capture in a Federation By Evgeny Yakovlev; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  7. Charting choices 2008-2011, economic effects of eight election platforms By CPB
  8. On the Feasibility of Power and Status Ranking in Traditional Setups By Petros Sekeris; Jean-Philippe Platteau
  9. Using Surveys to Compare the Public’s and Decisionmakers’ Preferences for Urban Regeneration: The Venice Arsenale By Anna Alberini; Alberto Longo; Patrizia Riganti
  10. Social Recognition and Economic Equilibrium By Ken Urai
  11. Individual and Couple Decision Behavior under Risk:The Power of Ultimate Control By André de Palma; Nathalie Picard; Anthony Ziegelmeyer

  1. By: Manow, Philip,; Holger Döring
    Abstract: Abstract Voters who participate in elections to the European Parliament tend to use these elections to punish their domestic governing parties. Many students of the EU therefore claim that the party-political composition of the Parliament should systematically differ from that of the Council. This study, which compares empirically the party-political centers of gravity of these two central political actors, shows that opposed majorities between Council and Parliament may have other than simply electoral causes. The logic of domestic government formation works against the representation of politically more extreme parties, and hence against more EU-skeptic parties in the Council. At the same time, voters in EP elections vote more often for these more extreme and more EU-skeptic parties. The different locations of Council and Parliament in the pro-/contra-EU dimension may thus be caused by two – possibly interrelated – effects: a mechanical effect, due to the translation of votes into seats and then into ‘office’, and thus also into Council representation, and an electoral effect in elections to the European Parliament. The paper discusses the implications of this finding for our understanding of the political system of the EU and of its democratic legitimacy.
    Keywords: democracy; European elections; legitimacy; multilevel governance; multilevel governance; spatial theory; national parliaments; European Council; European Parliament
    Date: 2006–12–18
  2. By: Theocharis N. Grigoriadis (The European Union Delegation to Russia); Benno Torgler (University of California)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relative impact of regional energy production on the legislative choices of Russian Duma deputies on energy regulation between 1994 and 2003. We apply Poole’s optimal classification method of roll call votes using an ordered probit model to explain energy law reform in the first decade of Russia’s democratic transition. Our goal is to analyze the relative importance of home energy on deputies’ behavior, controlling for other factors such as party affiliation, electoral mandate, committee membership and socio-demographic parameters. We observe that energy resource factors have a considerable effect on deputies’ voting behavior. On the other hand, we concurrently find that regional economic preferences are constrained by the public policy priorities of the federal center that continue to set the tone in energy law reform in post-Soviet Russia.
    Keywords: Energy Regulation, Energy Roll Law Reform, Energy Resources, Roll Call Votes, Legislative Politics, State Duma, Russia
    JEL: Q40 D72 K23 P27 P37 P31 R11
    Date: 2006–11
  3. By: Justin McCrary
    Abstract: Standard sufficient conditions for identification in the regression discontinuity design are continuity of the conditional expectation of counterfactual outcomes in the running variable. These continuity assumptions may not be plausible if agents are able to manipulate the running variable. This paper develops a test of manipulation related to continuity of the running variable density function. The methodology is applied to popular elections to the House of Representatives, where sorting is neither expected nor found, and to roll-call voting in the House, where sorting is both expected and found.
    JEL: C1 C2 C3
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Andreas Ufen (GIGA Institute of Asian Affairs)
    Abstract: Surprisingly, the outcome of the 1999 and 2004 elections in Indonesia and the resultant constellation of political parties are reminiscent of the first Indonesian parliamentary democracy of the 1950s. The dynamics of party politics is still marked by aliran (‘streams’), i.e. some of the biggest political parties still have a mass base and are embedded in specific milieus. But politik aliran has lost a lot of its significance and re-emerged in a quite different form after the fall of Suharto in 1998. Starting with this observation, it is argued that parties are still socially rooted, so a modified aliran approach still has its analytical value. However, one can also witness a weakening of aliran (dealiranisasi) and a concomitant ‘Philippinisation’, which is indicated by the rise of presidential or presidentialised parties, growing intra-party authoritarianism, the prevalence of ‘money politics’, the lack of meaningful political platforms, weak loyalties towards parties, cartels with shifting coalitions and the upsurge of new local elites.
    Keywords: political parties, post-Suharto Indonesia, Philippinisation, politik aliran
    Date: 2006–12
  5. By: Holm, Håkan (Department of Economics, Lund University); Nystedt, Paul (Department of Economics and Management, Linköping University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates trust in situations, where decision-makers are large groups and the decision-mechanism is collective, by developing a game to study trust behavior. Theories from behavioral economics and psychology suggest that trust in such situations may differ from individual trust. Experimental results here reveal a large difference in trust but not in trustworthiness between the individual and collective setting. Furthermore, an artefactual field experiment captures the determinants of collective trust behavior among two cohorts in the Swedish population. One result is that beliefs about the other and the own group are strongly associated with collective trustworthiness and trust behavior.
    Keywords: Collective Trust; Voting; Experiment; Beliefs
    JEL: C72 C90 C93 D70
    Date: 2006–12–20
  6. By: Evgeny Yakovlev; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (CEFIR / New Economic School)
    Abstract: The paper provides evidence that the welfare effect of decentralization in countries with weak democratic institutions depends on the multi-jurisdictional vs. single-jurisdictional span of interest group lobbies. Weak democracy leads to capture of local authorities. Captors who have multi-jurisdictional scope internalize inter-jurisdictional externalities of local policies to a larger extent than both the captors with interests in a single jurisdiction and not captured local politicians. Particularly, multi-jurisdictional captors lobby for lower inter-regional trade barriers than single-jurisdictional captors. Based on case study evidence and econometric analysis of a unique data set from Russia, we show that capture by multiregional interest groups leads to significantly better performance of firms with no political connections in the neighboring regions and worse performance of such firms in the captured region compared to capture by regional industrial interests with similar political power or situation of no capture. Our findings have implications for international trade as well: lobbying by multinationals leads to lower protectionism compared to lobbying by national corporations.
    JEL: P26 P27 D71 D72
    Date: 2006–01
  7. By: CPB
    Abstract: In the run-up to the Dutch general election on 22 November 2006, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) published an analysis of the economic effects of eight election platforms. The CPB conducted this analysis at the request of the political parties in question. This was the sixth occasion since 1986 that such an evaluation of election platforms has been made, so it is by now somewhat of a tradition.
    Date: 2006–12
  8. By: Petros Sekeris (CRED - Center of Research in the Economics of Development - [Facultés Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur] - [Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix]); Jean-Philippe Platteau (CRED - Center of Research in the Economics of Development - [Facultés Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur] - [Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix])
    Abstract: This paper aims at a better understanding of the conditions under which unequal rank or power positions may get permanently established through asymmetric gift exchange when a gift brings pride to the donor and shame to the recipient. The central result obtained is that an asymmetric gift exchange equilibrium can occur only if the importance attached to social shame by a recipient is smaller than that attached to social esteem by a donor. Moreover, an income transfer is more likely to be traded against social esteem, status, or power when the weight put on these attributes by the donor or patron is higher. We also show that the recipient's productivity may take on a rather wide range of values in the domain of feasibility of asymmetric gift exchange, and that, contrary to a commonly prevailing view, it is even possible that his productivity would be identical to that of the donor. Finally, the conditions are spelt out under which the recipient's effort is more likely to be reduced upon entering into asymmetric gift exchange relationships.
    Keywords: Social esteem; status; power; patronage; gift exchange
    Date: 2007–01–01
  9. By: Anna Alberini (University of Maryland); Alberto Longo (Queen’s University Belfast); Patrizia Riganti (The University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: In this paper, we illustrate how surveys can be used to elicit the preferences of the public and of policymakers and city officials for regeneration projects at urban sites. Our methodology uses rating exercises, coupled with conjoint-choice stated preferences for the general public and with ranking exercises for the public officials and other stakeholders, and is then applied to investigate alternative reuses of the Venice Arsenale, Italy, and their economic, environmental and social impacts. One interesting feature of the conjoint choice questions for members of the public is that the responses to these questions can be used to estimate the social benefits of regeneration projects, i.e., how much people are willing to pay for these urban transformations. Another advantage of our approach is that it can be used seek and foster broader public participation into urban decisionmaking processes.
    Keywords: Land Use, Decision-Making, Cleanup, Sustainable Development, Local Economic Development, Choice Experiments
    JEL: R14
    Date: 2006–11
  10. By: Ken Urai (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to incorporate the human ability of recognition, especially, the ability to recognize the society to which they belong, with the economic equilibrium theory characterized by a description of society through individual rational behaviors. Contents may be classied into the following three categories: (1) a rigorous set theoretical treatment of the description of individual rationality; (2) set theoretical description of the validity in a society; and (3) rationality as an equilibrium (xed point) of social recognition.
    Keywords: Social Recognition, Rationality, Social Equilibrium, Fixed Point Theorem, Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem.
    JEL: A10 B40 C60
    Date: 2006–12
  11. By: André de Palma (University of Cergy-Pontoise (théma) and ENPC, Member of Institut Universitaire de France); Nathalie Picard (University of Cergy-Pontoise (théma) and INED); Anthony Ziegelmeyer (Max Planck Institute)
    Abstract: This paper reports results of an experiment designed to analyze the link between risky decisions made by couples, and risky decisions made separately by each spouse. We estimate both the individuals and the couples’ degrees of risk aversion, and we analyze how the risk preferences of the two spouses aggregate when they have to perform joint decisions under risk. We show that the man has more decision power than the woman, but the woman’s decision power increases when she has ultimate control over the joint decision.
    Date: 2007

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