New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒08‒08
eight papers chosen by

  1. Minorities, Social Capital and Voting By Pieter Bevelander; Ravi Pendakur
  2. Minority Voting and Long-term Decisions By Theresa Fahrenberger; Hans Gersbach
  3. Strategic voting in sequential committees By Iaryczower, Matias
  4. Campaigning for the Japanese Lower House: From Mobilising to Chasing Voters? By Patrick Köllner
  5. Democracy and the curse of natural resources By Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
  6. Party formation in single-issue politics [revised] By Martin J. Osborne; Rabee Tourky
  7. How To Win A General Election By A Landslide Victory By Jones, Peter
  8. Aggregation theory and the relevance of some issues to others By Dietrich Franz

  1. By: Pieter Bevelander (IMER, Malmö University and IZA); Ravi Pendakur (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: It is widely held that voter turnout among immigrants and ethnic minorities is lower than among the native born. The goal of our paper is to explore the determinants of voting, comparing immigrant, minority and majority citizens in Canada. We use the 2002 wave of the Equality Security Community Survey to explore the relationship between personal characteristics (age, sex, education, and household type) work characteristics, social capital attributes (trust in government, belonging, civic awareness and interaction with others) and ethnic characteristics (ethnic origin, place of birth and religion) and voting. We find that the combination of socio-demographic and social capital attributes largely overrides the impact of immigration and ethnicity. This suggests that it is not the minority attribute that impacts voting. Rather it is age, level of schooling and level of civic engagement which effects voting, both federal and provincial.
    Keywords: political participation, immigrants, ethnic minorities, voting behaviour, social capital
    JEL: D72 J15 J61
    Date: 2007–07
  2. By: Theresa Fahrenberger (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich); Hans Gersbach (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: In this paper we propose minority voting as a scheme that can partially protect individuals from the risk of repeated exploitation. We consider a committee that meets twice to decide about projects where the first-period project may have a long-lasting impact. In the first period a simple open majority voting scheme takes place. Voting splits the committee into three groups: voting winners, voting losers, and absentees. Under minority voting only voting losers keep the voting right in the second period. We show that as soon as absolute risk aversion exceeds a threshold value minority voting is superior to repeated application of the simple majority rule.
    Keywords: voting, minority, durable decision, risk aversion, tyranny of majority rules
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2007–07
  3. By: Iaryczower, Matias
    Date: 2007–08
  4. By: Patrick Köllner (GIGA Institute of Asian Studies)
    Abstract: Electioneering for the Japanese Lower House has undergone significant changes in recent years. Not only institutional but also other environmental changes are pushing political actors in Japan to complement the hitherto dominant vote-mobilisation approach by vote-chasing strategies. Such strategies target in particular unaffiliated voters and emphasise party leaders. Yet, the notion of an ‘Americanisation’ of campaigning in Japan seems pre-mature at best. Notably, electioneering for the Lower House has become more party-oriented in the course of introducing new voter chasing strategies. It remains to be seen though whether specific campaign instruments and tactics used in recent general elections, such as the manifesto approach, can generate value-added in the longer term.
    Keywords: Election campaigning, mixed-member electoral system, voter targeting, Americanisation thesis, Japan
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
    Abstract: We propose a theoretical model to explain empirical regularities related to the curse of natural resources. This is an explicitly political model which emphasizes the behavior and incentives of politicians. We extend the standard voting model to give voters political control beyond the elections. This gives rise to a new restriction into our political economy model: policies should not give rise to a revolution. Our model clarifies when resource discoveries might lead to revolutions, namely, in countries with weak institutions. Natural resources may be bad for democracy by harming political turnover. Our model also suggests a non-linear dependence of human capital on natural resources. For low levels of democracy human capital depends negatively on natural resources, while for high levels of democracy the dependence is reversed. This theoretical finding is corroborated in both cross section and panel data regressions.
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Martin J. Osborne; Rabee Tourky
    Abstract: We study the implications of economies of party size in a model of party formation. We show that when the policy space is one-dimensional, candidates form at most two parties. This result does not depend on the magnitude of the economies of party size or sensitively on the nature of the individuals' preferences. It does depend on our assumptions that the policy space is one-dimensional and that uncertainty is absent; we study how modifications of these assumptions affect our conclusions.
    Keywords: Political parties, party formation, economies of party size
    JEL: D70 D72
    Date: 2007–07–13
  7. By: Jones, Peter
    Abstract: Some political parties have become victims of high technology politics; especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean who continue to practice limited database thinking. Those who have continued to practice political rule by thuggarism have found themselves behind the political curve of win ability, as the short–termism of this policy lacks sustainability beyond a year. The politics of the end of 20th century and now that of the 21st century has been seriously influenced by Globalization and its intrinsic facets of economic and financial marginalization and or redefinition of power. Many worldwide have used these high technology political strategies to maintain power and retain power when elections have been called. Those who live in the realm of Democratic idiocy will never hold the reigns of power, merely tasting it from time to time as the election political wind blows but never really harnessing its effective power. A good political platform speech is of importance. However, a good platform speech with strong subliminal suggestion and content and intention can never be duplicated. Some have this gift, some learn it while others never quite get there and automatically become a victim of the social, economic and political whirlwind of the New Global Informational Politics which is being used to manipulate uneducated , low educated or poorly educated voting populations worldwide.
    Keywords: Government; Political power
    JEL: H3 H11
    Date: 2006–08–19
  8. By: Dietrich Franz (METEOR)
    Abstract: I propose a general collective decision problem consisting in many issues that are interconnected in two ways: by mutual constraints and by connections of relevance. Aggregate decisions should respect the mutual constraints, and be based on relevant information only. This general informational constraint has many special cases, including premise-basedness and Arrow''s independence condition; they result from special notions of relevance. The existence and nature of (non-degenerate) aggregation rules depends on both types of connections. One result, if applied to the preference aggregation problem and adopting Arrow''s notion of (ir)relevance, becomes Arrow''s Theorem, without excluding indifferences unlike in earlier generalisations.
    Keywords: mathematical economics;
    Date: 2007

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