New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2008‒07‒20
five papers chosen by

  1. Daughters and Left Wing Voting By A Oswald; N Powdthavee
  2. Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India By Shawn A. Cole
  3. For Sale: Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems By Per G. Fredriksson; Xenia Matschke; Jenny Minier
  4. Not Always in the People’s Interest: Power-sharing Arrangements in African Peace Agreements By Andreas Mehler
  5. Heterogeneous Social Preferences and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments By Urs Fischbacher; Simon Gaechter

  1. By: A Oswald; N Powdthavee
    Abstract: What determines human beings' political preferences? Using nationally representative longitudinal data, we show that having daughters makes people more likely to vote for left-wing political parties. Having sons leads people to favor right-wing parties. The paper checks that our result is not an artifact of family stopping-rules, discusses the predictions from a simple economic model, and tests for possible reverse causality.
    Keywords: Voting, gender, daughters, political preferences, attitudes.
    JEL: D1 D72 H1 J7
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Shawn A. Cole (Harvard Business School, Finance Unit)
    Abstract: This paper integrates theories of political budget cycles with theories of tactical electoral redistribution to test for political capture in a novel way. Studying banks in India, I find that government-owned bank lending tracks the electoral cycle, with agricultural credit increasing by 5-10 percentage points in an election year. There is significant cross-sectional targeting, with large increases in districts in which the election is particularly close. This targeting does not occur in non-election years, or in private bank lending. I show capture is costly: elections affect loan repayment, and election year credit booms do not measurably affect agricultural output.
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Per G. Fredriksson (University of Louisville); Xenia Matschke (University of Connecticut); Jenny Minier (University of Kentucky)
    Abstract: We provide a theory of trade policy determination that incorporates the protectionist bias inherent in majoritarian systems, suggested by Grossman and Helpman (2005). The prediction that emerges is that in majoritarian systems, the majority party favors industries located disproportionately in majority districts. We test this prediction using U.S. tariff data from 1993, and House campaign contribution data from two electoral cycles. We find evidence of a protectionist bias due to majoritarian system politics that is comparable in magnitude to the payoff from being an organized industry.
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Andreas Mehler (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Peace agreements form a crucial element of strategies to bring security from outside: they involve third-party mediators during the negotiation stage and often peacekeeping troops to guarantee the agreement at an implementation stage. Peace roundtables usually involve top politicians and military leaders, who negotiate, sign, and/or benefit from the agreement. What is usually and conspicuously absent from peace negotiations is broad-based participation by those who should benefit in the first place: citizens. More specifically, the local level of security provision and insecurity production is rarely taken into account. This paper reviews parts of the academic debate on power sharing and war termination, touching on some key findings by the main researchers working on the topic. The ambivalent African experience with Arend Lijphart’s four main ingredients of consociational democracy (grand coalition, minority veto, proportional representation, group autonomy) is summarized. Recent major African peace agreements (1999-2007) are analyzed, and their power-sharing content detailed. Most agreements contain some—though varying— power-sharing devices. Most striking is the variation regarding the important question of who is sharing power with whom. Obviously, only those present at the negotiation table can really count on being included in major ways. Finally, three country cases are analyzed over a longer time period: Côte d’Ivoire (2002-2007), Liberia (1994-2003), and Central African Republic (1996-2007). The conclusion focuses on the factors of failure of peace agreements that place a heavy emphasis on power sharing.
    Keywords: Power sharing, peace agreements, consociational democracy, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia
    Date: 2008–07
  5. By: Urs Fischbacher; Simon Gaechter
    Keywords: Public goods experiments, social preferences, conditional cooperation, free riding
    Date: 2008

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