New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2007‒10‒20
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Bicameral Politics in the European Union By Bjorn Hoyland; Sara Hagemann
  2. The Ups and Downs of Bureaucratic Organization By Johan P. Olsen
  3. Educational quality, stratification, and the formation of communities : a theoretical analysis By Saïd Hanchane; Tarek Mostafa
  5. Forecasting elections using expert surveys: an application to U.S. presidential elections By Jones, Randall J.; Armstrong, J. Scott; Cuzan, Alfred G.
  6. Safe Enough To Argue? Giving Reasons in the Council of the EU By Daniel Naurin
  7. Rent seeking, interest groups and environmental lobbying: Cane Farmers versus Great Barrier Reef Protectionists By Beard, Rodney
  8. The effect of voter identification laws on turnout By Alvarez, R. Michael; Bailey, Delia; Katz, Jonathan
  9. Modelling the Composition of Government Expenditure in Democracies By John Creedy; Solmaz Moslehi
  10. Who Consults? Expert Groups in the European Union By Åse Gornitzka; Ulf Sverdrup
  11. Do binding agreements solve the social dilemma? By Emmanuel Sol; Sylvie Thoron; Marc Willinger
  12. Organization theory, public administration, democratic governance By Johan P. Olsen
  13. Approximability and Inapproximability of Dodgson and Young Elections By Ariel D Procaccia; Michal Feldmany; Jeffrey S Rosenschein
  14. The Tragedy of the Anti-Commons: A New Problem. An Application to the Fisheries. By José António Filipe; Manuel Alberto M. Ferreira; Manuel Coelho

  1. By: Bjorn Hoyland; Sara Hagemann
    Keywords: Council of Ministers; European Parliament; political science; political culture; power analysis
    Date: 2007–06–05
  2. By: Johan P. Olsen
    Keywords: democracy; administrative adaptation; institutionalisation; institutionalism; organization theory; organization theory; public administration; institutions; European Commission; political science
    Date: 2007–09–17
  3. By: Saïd Hanchane (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II]); Tarek Mostafa (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II])
    Abstract: In this paper, we develop a multicommunity model where public mixed finance and private schools coexist. Students are differentiated by income, ability and social capital. Schools maximize their profits under a quality constraint; the pricing function is dependent on the cost of producing education and on the position of an individual relatively to mean ability and mean social capital. Income plays an indirect role since it determines the type of schools and communities that can be afforded by a student given his ability and social capital.<br />Three dimensional stratification results from schools’ profit maximization and individuals’ utility maximization. This stratification is the corner stone of the distribution of students across communities and schools. Finally, we study majority voting over tax rates; property tax is used to finance educational quality not only in pure public schools but also in mixed finance schools. We provide the necessary conditions for the existence of a majority voting equilibrium determined by the median voter.
    Keywords: Education market; Majority voting equilibrium; Peer group effects; Social Capital; Students; Formation of communities; School choice
    Date: 2007–10–08
  4. By: Hillinger, Claude
    Abstract: This paper has two sources: One is my own research in three broad areas: business cycles, economic measurement and social choice. In all of these fields I attempted to apply the basic precepts of the scientific method as it is understood in the natural sciences. I found that my effort at using natural science methods in economics was met with little understanding and often considerable hostility. I found economics to be driven less by common sense and empirical evidence, than by various ideologies that exhibited either a political or a methodological bias, or both. This brings me to the second source: Several books have appeared recently that describe in historical terms the ideological forces that have shaped either the direct areas in which I worked, or a broader background. These books taught me that the ideological forces in the social sciences are even stronger than I imagined on the basis of my own experiences. The scientific method is the antipode to ideology. I feel that the scientific work that I have done on specific, long standing and fundamental problems in economics and political science have given me additional insights into the destructive role of ideology beyond the history of thought orientation of the works I will be discussing.
    Keywords: Business cycles, Ideology, Science, Voting, Welfare measurement
    JEL: B40 C50 D6 D71 E32
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Jones, Randall J.; Armstrong, J. Scott; Cuzan, Alfred G.
    Abstract: Prior research offers a mixed view of the value of expert surveys for long-term election forecasts. On the positive side, experts have more information about the candidates and issues than voters do. On the negative side, experts all have access to the same information. Based on prior literature and on our experiences with the 2004 presidential election and the 2008 campaign so far, we have reason to believe that a simple expert survey (the Nominal Group Technique) is preferable to Delphi. Our survey of experts in American politics was quite accurate in the 2004 election. Following the same procedure, we have assembled a new panel of experts to forecast the 2008 presidential election. Here we report the results of the first survey, and compare our experts’ forecasts with predictions by the Iowa Electronic Market .
    Keywords: forecasting; elections; expert surveys; Delphi
    JEL: Y80
    Date: 2007–10–02
  6. By: Daniel Naurin
    Keywords: European Council; collective bargaining; political science
    Date: 2007–07–11
  7. By: Beard, Rodney
    Abstract: In this paper an interest group model of rent seeking behaviour between sugarcane farmers and environmental protectionists is developed. The motivation for this scenario comes from the debate over fertilizer run-off and its possible impact on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. The paper takes Gordon Tullock’s rent-seeking model and applies it to the bargaining process over controls on fertilizer application in an effort to learn something about the likely political outcomes of this debate.
    Keywords: Public choice; Environmental economics; Agricultural policy
    JEL: Q18 Q58 Q53
    Date: 2007–10
  8. By: Alvarez, R. Michael; Bailey, Delia; Katz, Jonathan
    Date: 2007–10
  9. By: John Creedy; Solmaz Moslehi
    Abstract: This paper considers whether the ratio of transfer payments to expenditure on public goods in democracies can be explained as the outcome of majority voting. A simple model is constructed in which individuals vote for government expenditure on a public good, for a given income tax rate. The transfer payment is then determined by the government’s budget constraint. The equilibrium ratio of transfers to public good expenditure per person is expressed as a quadratic function both of the ratio of the median to the mean wage, and of the tax rate. Data for 29 democratic countries are used to estimate a cross-sectional regression. The empirical results confirm that reductions in the skewness of the wage rate distribution are associated with reductions in transfer payments relative to public goods expenditure, at a decreasing rate. Furthermore, increases in the tax rate, from relatively low levels, are associated with increases in the relative importance of transfer payments. But beyond a certain level, further tax rate increases are associated with a lower ratio of transfers to public goods.
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Åse Gornitzka; Ulf Sverdrup
    Keywords: multilevel governance; European Commission; governance; political science
    Date: 2007–08–22
  11. By: Emmanuel Sol; Sylvie Thoron; Marc Willinger
    Abstract: We investigate whether "binding agreements" can provide a solution to the social dilemma that arises in the presence of pure public goods. Signing a binding agreement can prevent players to free ride on the contributions to the public good. However, a well known theoretical result is that the outcome of the endogenous formation of agreements is not necessarily efficient. In our setting, the individual level of contribution to the public good increases with the size of the coalition reaching an agreement and the global agreement is always the socially optimal structure. Agreements form sequentially. The equilibrium outcome is an asymmetric structure, which consists of two coalitions of different sizes, the small one free riding on the contributions of the bigger one. In our experiment, we propose two treatments which differ in the degree of strategic uncertainty with which the subjects are faced. The results lend force to the theoretical conclusion that outcomes may be inefficient. The average gains achieved are sub-optimal. They are even lower than predicted by the equilibrium agreement structure in the treatment in which the strategic uncertainty is high. They are larger than predicted in the treatment in which the strategic uncertainty is limited. However, it seems that subjects "learn to cooperate" over time and reach the global agreement more often towards the end of sessions.
    Date: 2007–10
  12. By: Johan P. Olsen
    Keywords: organization theory; organization theory; public administration; governance; democratization; democratization
    Date: 2007–01–10
  13. By: Ariel D Procaccia; Michal Feldmany; Jeffrey S Rosenschein
    Date: 2007–10–15
  14. By: José António Filipe; Manuel Alberto M. Ferreira; Manuel Coelho
    Abstract: The operation and management of common property resources (“the commons”) have been exhaustively examined in economics and political science, both in formal analysis and in practical applications. “Tragedy of the Commons” metaphor helps to explain why people overuse shared resources. On the other side, Anti-Commons Theory is a recent theory presented by scientists to explain several situations about new Property Rights concerns. An “anti-commons” problem arises when there are multiple rights to exclude. Little attention has been given to the setting where more than one person is assigned with exclusion rights, which may be exercised. We analyze the “anti-commons” problem in which resources are inefficiently underutilized rather than over-utilized as in the familiar commons setting. In fact, these two problems are symmetrical in several aspects.
    Keywords: Anti-Commons Theory; Property Rights
    Date: 2007

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