New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒03‒03
seven papers chosen by

  1. A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections By Arianna Degan; Antonio Merlo
  2. Political economy of anti-corruption reform in two-candidate elections By Evrenk, Haldun
  3. A formula for the optimal taxation in Probabilistic Voting Models characterized by Single Mindedness By Canegrati, Emanuele
  4. Acyclic domains of linear orders : a survey By Bernard Monjardet
  5. "The Key Party in the Catalan Government" By Enriqueta Aragonés
  6. Arrow’s impossibility theorem: Two simple single-profile versions By Allan M. Feldman; Roberto Serrano
  7. Weakly Fair Allocations and Strategy-Proofness By Andersson , Tommy; Svensson, Lars-Gunnar

  1. By: Arianna Degan (Department of Economics, University of Quebec at Montreal); Antonio Merlo (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper develops a unified approach to study participation and voting in multiple elections. The theoretical setting combines an “uncertain-voter” model of turnout with a spatial model of voting behavior. We apply our framework to the study of turnout and voting in U.S. presidential and congressional elections. We structurally estimate the model using individual-level data for the 2000 elections, and quantify the relationships between observed individual characteristics and unobserved citizens’ ideological preferences, information, and civic duty. We then use the estimated model, which replicates the patterns of abstention, selective abstention, split-ticket voting, and straight-ticket voting observed in the data, to assess the effects of policies that may increase citizens’ information and sense of civic duty on their turnout and voting behavior.
    Keywords: elections, turnout, selective abstention, split-ticket voting
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2006–08–01
  2. By: Evrenk, Haldun
    Abstract: We analyze the effectiveness of some commonly discussed anti--corruption reforms on political corruption, using a theoretical model of competition between two candidates in a probabilistic voting setup. Candidates, who may differ both in their ability to produce the public good, and popularity with voters, propose a tax rate and a public good level. The budget constraint implies that taxes collected must equal the sum of funds used in public good production plus funds stolen by the elected politician. We identify the conditions under which constitutional constraints on policies, higher penalties for corruption, and higher wages for elected politicians increase (or decrease) voters' welfare. We discuss how the asymmetric information and the rigidity of constitutions reduce the effectiveness of the reforms, and how distributional effects of reforms may reduce the voters' support for a welfare--improving reform. Finally, we argue that effective reforms may not be proposed by both corrupt and honest politicians.
    Keywords: Political Agency; Constitutional Design; Political Economy of Reform
    JEL: D72 K42
    Date: 2002–10
  3. By: Canegrati, Emanuele
    Abstract: This work intends to specify a formula for the optimal taxation in Probabilistic Voting Models with Single Mindedness Theory. The goal is to find an equivalent expression to the Ramsey’s rule for a political economy environment where Governments are assumed to be Leviathans rather than benevolents.
    Keywords: probabilistic voting model; single mindedness theory; optimal taxation; positive approach
    JEL: D63 H24 H23 H21 D71 I38 D72 H31 H27 H53 D78
    Date: 2007–02–23
  4. By: Bernard Monjardet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I])
    Abstract: Among the many significant contributions of Fishburn to social choice theory some have borne on what he has called «acyclic sets», i.e. these sets of linear orders where majority rule applies without «Condorcet effect» (majority relation never has cycles). Search for large such domains is a fascinating topic. I review the works in this field and in particular a recent one allowing to show the connections between some of them unrelated up to now.
    Keywords: Acyclic set, alternating scheme, distributive lattice, effet Condorcet, maximal chain, permutoedre lattice, weak Bruhat order, value restriction.
    Date: 2007–02–09
  5. By: Enriqueta Aragonés
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the different compositions of the catalan governing coalitions during the current democratic period, and offers some predictions about the coalitions that can be expected in the future. During this period, in catalan politics, there have been two main political issues over which the different parties have taken positions: rightist versus leftist with respect to economic policy, and sovereign versus centralist with respect to the power distribution within the state. I find that for any allocation of parliament seats there is a key party: a party that has a clear advantage in terms of being able to decide the composition of the governing coalition. I show the features that allow a party to become the key party and those that affect the size of the advantage of the key party.
    Keywords: catalan politics, government formation, stability
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2007–02–01
  6. By: Allan M. Feldman (Brown University); Roberto Serrano (Brown University)
    Abstract: In this short paper we provide two simple new versions of Arrow’s impossibility theorem, in a world with only one preference profile. Both versions are extremely transparent. The first version assumes a two-agent society; the second version, which is similar to a theorem of Pollak, assumes two or more agents. Both of our theorems rely on diversity of preferences axioms, and we explore alternative notions of diversity at length. Our first theorem also uses a neutrality assumption, commonly used in the literature; our second theorem uses a neutrality/monotonicity assumption, which is stronger and less commonly used. We provide examples to show the logical independence of the axioms, and to illustrate our points.
    Keywords: Arrow’s theorem; single-profile
    JEL: D60 D70 D71
    Date: 2007–02–28
  7. By: Andersson , Tommy (Department of Economics, Lund University); Svensson, Lars-Gunnar (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper considers a fair division problem with two types of indivisible objects, like jobs, houses etc., and one divisible good (money). Each individual consumes exactly one object and some money. It is assumed that the money that associated with each object cannot fall short of an exogenously given level. In order to guarantee existence, the concept of fairness is extended, and we define a new concept of fairness, called weak fairness. The class of weakly fair allocation rules that are coalitionally strategy-proof is characterized. It turns out that a weakly fair allocation rule is coalitionally strategy-proof if and only if it is optimal, where optimality means it must maximize the use of money subject to some upper quantity bounds.
    Keywords: Indivisibles; fairness; weak fairness; strategy-proofness
    JEL: C71 C78 D63 D71 D78
    Date: 2007–02–21

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.