New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2009‒05‒30
eight papers chosen by

  1. Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule By Massimo Bordignon; Guido Tabellini
  2. Group Versus Individual Decision-Making: Is there a shift? By Attila Ambrus; Ben Greiner; Parag Pathak
  3. The referendum threat, the rationally ignorant voter, and the political culture of the EU By Giandomenico Majone
  4. When do Legislators pass on"Pork"? the determinants of legislator utilization of a constituency development fund in India By Keefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti
  5. Model for revelation of unfriendly information impacts in mass-media which are directed on change of public opinion By Bocharnikov, Victor; Sveshnikov, Sergey; Voznyak, Stepan; Yuzefovich, Vladimir
  6. 政治市场博弈:结构与行为 By Huang, Weiting
  7. Lobbying competition over trade policy By Gawande, Kishore; Krishna, Pravin; Olarreaga, Marcelo
  8. Is deliberation equitable ? evidence from transcripts of village meetings in south India By Ban, Radu; Rao, Vijayendra

  1. By: Massimo Bordignon (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Guido Tabellini (Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: We compare single ballot vs dual ballot elections under plurality rule, assuming sincere voting and allowing for partly endogenous party formation. Under the dual ballot, the number of parties is larger but the influence of extremists voters on equilibrium policy is smaller, because their bargaining power is reduced compared to a single ballot election. The predictions on the number of parties and on policy volatility are consistent with data on municipal elections in Italy, where cities with more (less) than 15,000 inhabitants have dual (single) ballots respectively.
  2. By: Attila Ambrus (Department of Economics, Harvard University); Ben Greiner (School of Economics, University of New South Wales); Parag Pathak (Department of Economics, MIT)
    Abstract: We revisit the phenomenon that group decisions differ systematically from decisions of individuals. Our experiment solicits individual and group decisions from the same subjects in two settings, gift-exchange games and lottery choices. With no deliberation and voting, the group decision is determined by the median individual decision, without a shift. With deliberation but no imposed decision rule, the individual one po- sition towards the selfish direction also becomes influential. In lottery choices we find no group shift relative to the median. We demonstrate that the standard practice of comparing means of group and individual decisions would incorrectly identify a level shift.
    Keywords: Decision making, lottery, risky choices
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Giandomenico Majone
    Abstract: The chasm separating elite and popular opinion on the achievements and finality of European integration was never so visible as after the negative referendums on the Constitutional and the Lisbon Treaties. The public attitude prevailing in the past has been characterized as one of permissive consensus, meaning that the integration project was seemingly taken for granted by European publics as an accepted part of the political landscape. The current stage of the integration process is best understood as the end of permissive consensus, but EU leaders do not seem to be sufficiently aware of the far-reaching consequences entailed by this change in public attitude. One important reason for this inability, or unwillingness, to assess realistically the new situation is the peculiar political culture grown up in more than half a century of intense, if not always productive, integrationist efforts. A striking demonstration of the hold of this political culture on the minds of Euro-leaders is the view of popular referendums as an unconscionable risk for the integration process--the referendum roulette. One of the favourite arguments against ratification of European treaties by popular referendum is that voters cannot be expected to read and evaluate technically and legally complex texts running into hundreds of pages. It will be shown, however, that this argument is flawed in several respects; carried to its logical conclusion, it would lead to severe restrictions of the franchise even at the national level. The reasons of the current discontent are to be found in the fear of a EU without border and limits and in the loss of confidence among significant parts of the electorate in the EU’s ability to deal with everyday issues. The Union may be entering an age of diminished expectations: leaders realize that the current approach to European integration no longer delivers very much, but there is little demand for an alternative approach that might do better. Some form of differentiated integration may offer the only possibility of avoiding the dilemma of dissolution or irrelevance.
    Keywords: Constitution for Europe; democracy; differentiated integration; federalism; political culture; referendum; treaty reform
    Date: 2009–05–15
  4. By: Keefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti
    Abstract: The authors examine a unique public spending program that is proliferating across developing countries, the constituency development fund, to investigate when legislators exert more effort on behalf of their constituents. Using data from India, they find that legislator effort is significantly lower in constituencies where voters are more attached to political parties. They are also lower in constituencies that are reserved for members of socially disadvantaged groups (lower castes), specifically in those reserved constituencies that are candidate strongholds. This result is robust to controls for alternate explanations and implies that legislators pass on pork when voters are more attached to political parties or influenced by identity issues. These findings have implications for the evaluation of constituency development funds. They also provide a new answer to a central issue in political economy, the conditions under which legislators seek to"bring home the pork"to constituents, that attaches great importance to the role of political parties.
    Keywords: Parliamentary Government,Microfinance,Political Systems and Analysis,Politics and Government,Government Policies
    Date: 2009–05–01
  5. By: Bocharnikov, Victor; Sveshnikov, Sergey; Voznyak, Stepan; Yuzefovich, Vladimir
    Abstract: In this article we proposes the mathematical model for revelation of deliberate unfriendly information impacts which are fulfilled by means of specially prepared information messages (news, reviews and others) in mass-media. The model calculates the quantitative measure for fact determination of purposeful information impact and evaluation of potential damage to interests of state (party, corporation) from impact fulfilment. The model use the following data: intensity and direction of information streams (publication frequency and themes of news), structure of important state and public problems, structure of social groups of a society, priorities of these social groups, mass-media popularity in social groups, priorities of a state policy. The model is the semantic network in which the relations between concepts we formalize by use of fuzzy measures by Sugeno. We have used this model for revelation of information impacts on public opinion of Russian-speaking national minority of Crimea (Ukraine) during 01.2002 - 02.2005 (final stage of presidential elections). The model also can has important implications for evaluation of election cleanness, for neutralization of dirty voting technologies, for facts determination of unfair competition, when corporations involve a public opinion into own competitive activity.
    Keywords: Information impact; public opinion; fuzzy measures; preferences; social groups
    JEL: D81 L41 D83
    Date: 2009–05–25
  6. By: Huang, Weiting
    Abstract: How different political market structures influence the behaviors of participants and the distribution of benefits was studied n the framework of game theory. Theoretical model showed that in the monopolized political market, the participation surplus of participants would serve as the rents of monopoly power. However, when the political market competition, such as the oligarchic political market, would lead to reverse the redistribution of benefits, that is, the leaders’ surplus of political oligarchy would transferred to the participants. Additionally, in the extended spatial model, we concluded the basic distribution of political alliance. Based on these conclusions, we discussed the "center-periphery" proposition, and pointed out that there exist a trap of development; we also pointed how ideological conflict, clash of civilizations, economic geographic proximity would influence the political behaviors. In the end, two cases, that is, Japan's postwar development and cross-strait “diplomatic war” were studied.
    Keywords: political market structure and behavior rents surplus
    JEL: F59 F02 D72
    Date: 2008–11
  7. By: Gawande, Kishore; Krishna, Pravin; Olarreaga, Marcelo
    Abstract: Competition between opposing lobbies is an important factor in the endogenous determination of trade policy. This paper investigates empirically the consequences of lobbying competition between upstream and downstream producers for trade policy. The theoretical structure underlying the empirical analysis is the well-known Grossman-Helpman model of trade policy determination, modified suitably to account for the cross-sectoral use of inputs in production (itself a quantitatively significant phenomenon with around 50 percent of manufacturing output being used by other sectors rather than in final consumption). Data from more than 40 countries are used in our analysis. Our empirical results validate the predictions of the theoretical model with lobbying competition. Importantly, accounting for lobbying competition also alters substantially estimates of the "welfare-mindedness" of governments in setting trade policy.
    Keywords: Interest groups; Intermediate goods; Lobbies; Political Economy; Trade policy
    JEL: D72 D78 F12 F13 F14
    Date: 2009–05
  8. By: Ban, Radu; Rao, Vijayendra
    Abstract: Deliberative decision-making processes are becoming increasingly important around the world to make important decisions about public and private goods allocation, but there is very little empirical evidence about how they actually work. In this paper the authors use data from India extracted from 131 transcripts of village meetings matched with data from household surveys conducted in the same villages prior to the meetings, to study whose preferences are reflected in the meetings. The meetings are constitutionally empowered to make decisions about public and private goods. The findings show that the more land a person owns, the higher the likelihood her preference is mentioned in the meeting, the longer the amount of time spent discussing this preference, and the higher the likelihood that a decision to provide or repair this public or private good is taken. At the same time, the voices of disadvantaged castes, while not dominating the meeting, are also heard. By contrast, the preferences of Muslims are given less time. High village literacy and the presence of higher level officials during village meetings mitigate the power of the landed, but political reservations for low castes for the post of village president increase the power of the landed.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Social Accountability,Peri-Urban Communities,Rural Urban Linkages,Anthropology
    Date: 2009–05–01

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