nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒09‒16
eight papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. When the Powerful Drag Their Feet By Paul Schure; Francesco Passerelli; David Scoones
  2. On the Buyability of Voting Bodies By Felix J. J. Vardy; John Morgan
  3. Voting with the Crowd: Do Single Issues Drive Partisanship? By Martin B. Schmidt
  4. Corruption and Democracy By Michael T. Rock
  5. Information Aggregation in Spatial Committee Games By Vincent Anesi
  6. Democracy and growth: An alternative empirical approach By Shen , Jian-Guang
  7. Congestion, Equilibrium and Learning: The Minority Game By Kets, W.; Voorneveld, M.
  8. Power transformations in correspondence analysis By Michael Greenacre

  1. By: Paul Schure (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Francesco Passerelli (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); David Scoones (Università degli Studi di Teramo and Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: We examine the timing of group decisions that are taken by weighted voting. Decision-making is in two stages. In the second stage, players vote on a policy restriction. In the first stage, players vote to determine the timing of the second-stage decision: “early”, before players’ types are revealed, or “late”. Players differ in both size and voting power. We show that players with greater power tend to prefer a late vote, whereas less powerful players tend to want to vote early. By contrast, large players tend to prefer an early vote and small players a late vote. We present evidence from the literatures on corporate governance, international relations, European Union governance, and oil extraction. We examine an extension in which players choose the qualified majority threshold besides the timing of the second-stage vote.
    Keywords: Timing of decisions, strategic delay, committee decisions, weighted voting, multilateralism
    JEL: D72 D78 H77
    Date: 2007–09–04
  2. By: Felix J. J. Vardy; John Morgan
    Abstract: We study vote buying by competing interest groups in a variety of electoral and contractual settings. While increasing the size of a voting body reduces its buyability in the absence of competition, we show that larger voting bodies may be more buyable than smaller voting bodies when interest groups compete. In contrast, imposing the secret ballot---which we model as forcing interest groups to contract on outcomes rather than votes---is an effective way to fight vote buying in the presence of competition, but much less so in its absence. We also study more sophisticated vote buying contracts. We show that, regardless of competition, the option to contract on both votes and outcomes is worthless, as it does not affect buyability as compared to contracting only on votes. In contrast, when interest groups can contract on votes and vote shares, we show that voting bodies are uniquely at risk of being bought.
    Date: 2007–07–17
  3. By: Martin B. Schmidt (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)
    Abstract: We examine whether survey data supports the anecdotal evidence which suggests that group association impacts the individual’s stated beliefs. Specifically, we examine whether a rise in the relative importance of a single issue, i.e., national security, blurs the traditional importance of socio-economic variables in determining an electorate’s political party association. Further we examine whether such blurring occurs across the responses to questions outside the scope of this single issue. We find that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the relative importance of national security rose in United States’ electorate and reduced the relative importance of socio-economic variables in determining the electorate’s political association and for both security and non-security issues.
    Keywords: Elections, Voting Preferences, Group Preferences, Conformity
    JEL: E41 E52 C32
    Date: 2007–09–07
  4. By: Michael T. Rock
    Abstract: What is the impact of democracy on corruption? In most models, analysts assume a negative relationship, with more democracy leading to less corruption. But recent theoretical developments and case evidence support an inverted U relationship between corruption and democracy. By drawing on a panel data set covering a large number of countries between 1996 and 2003, substantial empirical support is found for an inverted U relationship between democracy and corruption. The turning point in corruption occurs rather early in the life of new democracies and at rather low per capita incomes.
    Keywords: corruption, electoral democracy, consolidated democracy, rule of law, government effectiveness
    JEL: O12 D72 D73 H11 H77 K42
    Date: 2007–08
  5. By: Vincent Anesi (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper introduces information aggregation into the standard spatial committee game. We assume that committee members must agree on a decision rule to aggregate their private information on a policy-relevant state of the world. We derive sucient conditions for the ex ante incentive compatible core to be nonempty, and provide some characterization results for incentive compatible core decision rules, called "durable decision rules". In particular, core points of the underlying complete-information game are shown to be constant, durable decision rules of the game with incomplete information if they satisfy some robustness property. Moreover, we show that durable decision rules exist whenever information is Pareto-improving relative to the core of the underlying complete-information game, provided that voters' private signals are weakly informative.
    Keywords: Core existence, Incentive compatibility, Information aggregation, Committee
    JEL: C71 D71 D78 D82
    Date: 2007–08
  6. By: Shen , Jian-Guang (BOFIT)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a “before-and-after” approach to empirical examination of the relationship between democracy and growth. Rather than the commonly used cross-country regression method, this paper compares the economic performances of forty countries before and after they became democracies or semi-democracies sometime within the last forty years. The empirical evidence indicates that an improvement in growth performance typically follows the transformation to democracy. Moreover, growth under democracy appears to be more stable than under authoritarian regimes. Interestingly, wealthy countries often experience declines in growth after a democratic transformation, while very poor nations typically experience accelerations in growth. Growth change appears to be negatively related to the initial savings ratio and positively related to the export ratio to GDP. Partial correlation between growth change and primary school or secondary school enrollments and the ratio of government expenditure to GDP is not identified.
    Keywords: democracy; economic growth
    JEL: O40 O57
    Date: 2007–09–12
  7. By: Kets, W.; Voorneveld, M. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The minority game is a simple congestion game in which the players? main goal is to choose among two options the one that is adopted by the smallest number of players. We characterize the set of Nash equilibria and the limiting behavior of several well-known learning processes in the minority game with an arbitrary odd number of players. Interestingly, different learning processes provide considerably different predictions.
    Keywords: Learning;congestion games;replicator dynamic;perturbed best response dynamics;quantal response equilibria;best-reply learning
    JEL: C72 D83
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Michael Greenacre
    Abstract: Power transformations of positive data tables, prior to applying the correspondence analysis algorithm, are shown to open up a family of methods with direct connections to the analysis of log-ratios. Two variations of this idea are illustrated. The first approach is simply to power the original data and perform a correspondence analysis – this method is shown to converge to unweighted log-ratio analysis as the power parameter tends to zero. The second approach is to apply the power transformation to the contingency ratios, that is the values in the table relative to expected values based on the marginals – this method converges to weighted log-ratio analysis, or the spectral map. Two applications are described: first, a matrix of population genetic data which is inherently two-dimensional, and second, a larger cross-tabulation with higher dimensionality, from a linguistic analysis of several books.
    Keywords: Box-Cox transformation, chi-square distance, contingency ratio, correspondence analysis, log-ratio analysis, power transformation, ratio data, singular value decomposition, spectral map
    JEL: C19 C88
    Date: 2007–08

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