New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒05‒04
six papers chosen by

  1. Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries By Pande, Rohini
  2. Organ Transplants, Hiring Committees, and Early Rounds of the Kappell Piano Competition By Donald E. Campbell; Jerry S. Kelly
  3. Schooling and Citizenship: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms By Thomas Siedler
  4. Endogenous Coalition Formation in Contests By Santiago Sanchez-Pages
  5. Dynamic Incentives and the Optimal Delegation of Political Power By Eric Le Borgne; Gauti B. Eggertsson
  6. What Is Political about Jurisprudence? Courts, Politics and Political Science in Europe and the United States By Rehder, Britta

  1. By: Pande, Rohini
    Abstract: Building on the large and growing empirical literature on the political behaviour of individuals in low income countries this chapter seeks to understand corruption through the lens of political economy -- particularly in terms of the political and economic differences between rich and poor countries. Our focus is on the political behaviour of individuals exposed to democratic political institutions. We review the existing literature on the determinants of individual political behaviour to ask whether we can understand the choice of political actors to be corrupt and, importantly, of other individuals to permit it, as a rational response to the social or the economic environment they inhabit. We also discuss the implications of this view of corruption for anti-corruption policies.
    Keywords: corruption; development
    JEL: O12
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Donald E. Campbell (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Jerry S. Kelly (Department of Economics, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Function g selects exactly k alternatives as a function of the preferences of n individuals. It cannot be manipulated by any individual, assuming that an individual prefers set A to B whenever A can be obtained from B by eliminating some alternatives and replacing each with a preferred alternative. Then there is someone whose k top-ranked alternatives are always selected if: (i). k = 2 and n $ 2; or (ii). k = 3 and n = 2; or (iii). k > 3, n = 2, and g has a unanimity property; or (iv). k > 2, n $ 2, g has a unanimity property, and no coalition can manipulate.
    Keywords: coalitions, dictatorship, manipulation, multi-valued social choice function
    JEL: D70 D71
    Date: 2007–04–30
  3. By: Thomas Siedler (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether schooling has a positive impact on individual's political interest, voting turnout, democratic values, political involvement and political group membership, using the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS). Between 1949 and 1969 the number of compulsory years of schooling was increased from eight to nine years in the Federal Republic of Germany, gradually over time and across federal states. These law changes allow one to investigate the causal impact of years of schooling on citizenship. Years of schooling are found to be positively correlated with a broad range of political outcome measures. However, when exogenous increase in schooling through law changes is used, there is no evidence of a causal effect running from schooling to citizenship in Germany.
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Santiago Sanchez-Pages
    Abstract: This paper analyzes coalition formation in a model of contests with linear costs. Agents first form groups and then compete by investing resources. Coalitions fight for prizes that are assumed to be subject to rivalry, so their value is non-increasing in the size of the group. This formulation encompasses as particular cases some models proposed in the rent-seeking literature. We show that the formation of groups generates positive spillovers and analyze two classes of games of coalition formation. A contest among individual agents is the only stable outcome when individual defections leave the rest of the group intact. More concentrated coalition structures, including the grand coalition, are stable when groups collapse after a defection, provided that rivalry is not too strong. Results in a sequential game of coalition formation suggest that there exists a non-monotonic relationship between the level of underlying rivalry and the level of social conflict.
    Keywords: Contests, coalition formation, conflict, rivalry.
    JEL: C72 D72 D74
  5. By: Eric Le Borgne; Gauti B. Eggertsson
    Abstract: This paper proposes a theory to explain why a politician delegates policy tasks to a technocrat in an independent institution. It formalizes the rationales for delegation highlighted by Hamilton (1788) and by Blinder (1998). Delegation trades-off the cost of having a possibly incompetent technocrat with a long-term job contract against the benefit of having a technocrat who (i) invests more effort into the specialized policy task and (ii) is better insulated from the whims of public opinion. One natural application of the theory is in the field of monetary policy where the model provides a new theory of central bank independence.
    Keywords: Delegation , elections , career concerns , learning-by-doing , insulation , Central Bank Independence ,
    Date: 2007–04–17
  6. By: Rehder, Britta
    Abstract: Abstract Abstract This paper reflects on the literature on courts and politics in Europe and the United States. US-American Political Science has dealt for over fifty years with the role of courts and judges as political actors, whereas this perspective has only recently emerged in Europe. The debates differ not only with regard to the number of articles written, but also with regard to their content. This paper discusses the different research perspectives that are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic. While a major part of the US-American literature investigates the politics of judicial action and the politicization of the legal system, research on European courts confines itself to analyzing the effects of judicial action, often describing them in terms of juridification. Based on a review of the existing literature, this paper suggests that European scholars ought to take crucial assumptions of the US-American research tradition more seriously. Zusammenfassung Zusammenfassung Während die US-amerikanische Politikwissenschaft seit über fünfzig Jahren Gerichte als politische Akteure begreift und untersucht, hat sich dieses Verständnis in Europa erst seit Kurzem durchgesetzt. Dabei unterscheiden sich die Forschungsperspektiven erheblich. Ein bedeutender Teil der US-amerikanischen Literatur hat die rechtswissenschaftlichen Ansätze zur Erklärung juristischer Entscheidungen herausgefordert, indem er die politischen Grundlagen der Rechtsprechung und damit die Politisiertheit des Rechtssystems untersucht. Demgegenüber beschränkt sich die europabezogene Forschung meist auf die Analyse der Auswirkungen rechtlichen Handelns auf Politik. Die Effekte werden dabei häufig als Verrechtlichung beschrieben. Der vorliegende Text arbeitet die verschiedenen Forschungstraditionen heraus und plädiert dafür, zentrale Annahmen der US-amerikanischen Forschung auch in Europa stärker als bisher zu berücksichtigen.
    Keywords: political science; judicial review; comparative law; court politics; legal culture
    Date: 2007–04–15

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