New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2009‒07‒11
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Candidate Stable Voting Rules for Separable Orderings By Kentaro Hatsumi
  2. Correcting Mistakes: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes in Sweden and the United States By Elinder, Mikael
  3. Elections and Deceptions: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Luca Corazzini; Sebastian Kube; Michel André Maréchal; Antonio Nicoló
  4. Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success By Berggren, Niclas; Jordahl, Henrik; Poutvaara, Panu
  5. A note on comparing median evaluations in single-peaked domains By Jean-François Laslier
  6. Ethnicity and Party Systems in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa By Matthias Basedau; Alexander Stroh
  7. Is Demeny Voting the Answer to Low Fertility in Japan? By Aoki, Reiko; Vaithianathan, Rhema
  8. The Role of Advisory Services in Proxy Voting By Cindy R. Alexander; Mark A. Chen; Duane J. Seppi; Chester S. Spatt
  9. Civil society and EU constitution-making: Towards a European social constituency? By Hans-Jörg Trenz, Nadine Bernhard; Erik Jentges
  10. Développement des territoires et démocratie locale (The development of territories and local democracy) By Elodie VALENTN
  11. He Who Counts Elects: Determinants of Fraud in the 1922 Colombian Presidential Election By Isaías N. Chaves; Leopoldo Fergusson; James A. Robinson
  12. Delegation of Power and Agency Losses in EU Trade Politics By Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt

  1. By: Kentaro Hatsumi
    Abstract: We consider the election model in which voters choose a subset from the set of candidates. Both voters and candidates are assumed to possess preferences with separable strict orderings. We investigate a rule satisfying candidate stability, which is the requirement to deter any candidate from strategic withdrawal. We show that a rule satisfies candidate stability if and only if it satisfies independence of the selection for each candidate.
    Date: 2009–04
  2. By: Elinder, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Cognitive dissonance theory predicts that the act of voting makes people more positive toward the party or candidate they have voted for. Following Mullainathan and Washington (2009), I test this prediction by using exogenous variation in turnout provided by the voting age restriction. I improve on previous studies by investigating political attitudes, measured just before elections, when they are highly predictive of voting. In contrast to earlier studies I find no effect of voting on political attitudes. This result holds for a variety of political attitudes and for both Sweden and the United States.
    Keywords: Cognitive Dissonance; Voting; Elections; Political Attitudes
    JEL: B59 C21 D72
    Date: 2009–06–22
  3. By: Luca Corazzini; Sebastian Kube; Michel André Maréchal; Antonio Nicoló
    Abstract: The virtue of democratic elections has traditionally been seen in their role as a means of screening and sanctioning shirking public officials. This paper proposes a novel rationale for elections and political campaigns by considering heterogeneity in candidates' aversion to lying. We analyze theoretically and experimentally how democratic elections and campaigns influence the behavior of voters and their representatives. Our main insight is that candidates behave more benevolently when democratically elected than when exogenously appointed. Moreover, the results show that candidates feel more obliged to serve the public interest the higher their approval ratings are. Together, our results suggest that electoral competition and campaigns confer benefits beyond their function as a screening and sanctioning device.
    Keywords: Costs of Lying, Electoral Competition, Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: D72 C92
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: Berggren, Niclas (Ratio); Jordahl, Henrik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Poutvaara, Panu (University of Helsinki)
    Abstract: Recent research has documented that competent-looking political candidates do better in U.S. elections and that babyfaced individuals are generally perceived to be less competent than maturefaced individuals. Taken together, this suggests that babyfaced political candidates are perceived as less competent and therefore fare worse in elections. We test this hypothesis, making use of photograph-based judgments by 2,772 respondents of the facial appearance of 1,785 Finnish political candidates. Our results confirm that babyfacedness is negatively related to inferred competence in politics. Despite this, babyfacedness is either unrelated or positively related to electoral success, depending on the sample of candidates.
    Keywords: Babyfacedness; Competence; Beauty; Trustworthiness; Elections
    JEL: D72 J45 J70
    Date: 2009–06–26
  5. By: Jean-François Laslier (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: In one-dimensional, single-peaked domains, the paper compares the MaxMedian voting scheme of Basset and Persky (Public Choice 99: 299- 310) with majority rule and the utilitarian criterion. The MaxMedian outcome is rejected by a majority of voters in favor of outcomes which are also utilitarian improvements.
    Date: 2009–06–22
  6. By: Matthias Basedau (GIGA Institute of African Affairs); Alexander Stroh (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Despite earlier assumptions that ethnicity is a central feature of African party systems, there is little substantial evidence for this claim. The few studies with an empirical foundation rarely rely on individual data and are biased in favor of Anglophone Africa. This paper looks at four Francophone countries, drawing on four representative survey polls in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Multivariate regression models and bivariate control tools reveal that ethnicity matters as a determinant of party preference, but that its impact is generally rather weak and differs with regard to party systems and individual parties. “Ethnic parties” in the strict sense are almost completely absent, and only the Beninese party system is substantially “ethnicized.” In particular, regional ties between voters and leaders—rather than ethnic affiliation alone—deserve attention in the future study of voting behavior in Africa.
    Keywords: political parties, ethnic groups, voting intentions, multivariate logistic regression
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: Aoki, Reiko; Vaithianathan, Rhema
    Abstract: Japan has the oldest population in the world, and experienced an unprecedented decrease in fertility rates during the post-war period. Despite the well recognized need to provide pronatalist policies, Japan lags behind other developed countries in the generosity of its family benefits. Part of the reason for this is the large voting bloc presented by those in, or close to, retirement, and the weak political power of parents and children. We argue that to reverse the trend, Japan should introduce a Demeny Voting rule, which allows parents to vote on behalf of their children. Such a change would signal a commitment to ongoing generous family policies which in turn would increase fertility.
    Date: 2009–06
  8. By: Cindy R. Alexander; Mark A. Chen; Duane J. Seppi; Chester S. Spatt
    Abstract: This paper studies the information content and consequences of third-party voting advice issued during proxy contests. We document significant abnormal stock returns around proxy vote recommendations and develop an estimation procedure for disentangling stock price effects due to changes in outcome probabilities from those due to changes in outcome-contingent valuations. We find that voting advice is a good predictor of contest outcomes and that vote recommendations appear to certify the extent to which dissidents can add value. Thus, proxy advice seems to play a dual informational role in financial markets.
    JEL: G20 G24 G30 G34
    Date: 2009–07
  9. By: Hans-Jörg Trenz, Nadine Bernhard; Erik Jentges
    Abstract: The EU constitutional process has ascribed a new role to civil society not only as a partner in governance but also as a constituent of the emerging EU polity. Civil society appears in this process primarily as the structure of voice that is articulated in relation to EU governance and that claims to represent European citizens. The article proposes an analytical framework and a methodology of how to analyze civil society as ‘social constituency’. The research agenda is linked to the intermediary and the representative function of organised civil society as a transmission belt of legitimatory discourse on the EU. In order to reconstruct how interests, identities and normative ideas relating to the legitimacy of an EU constitutional order are contested within national politics, our research draws on a survey of German civil society organisations in three sectors: a) consumer interest organisations, b) churches and religious organisations, and c) gender equality groups.
    Keywords: civil society; constitution building; discourse; Germany; governance; legitimacy; polity building; treaty reform
    Date: 2009–06–15
  10. By: Elodie VALENTN (labrii, ULCO)
    Abstract: Le territoire est un ensemble social, la démocratie locale peut jouer un rôle structurant et dynamisant dans cette construction. Elle est un champ d’expérimentation dans les processus d’innovations territoriales. De quelle manière et avec quels acteurs, la démocratie locale contribue au développement du territoire ? Une lecture de la participation citoyenne s’impose aujourd’hui. Une interprétation historique est nécessaire pour comprendre l’évolution de cet ensemble social. Il s’agit aussi d’identifier l’évolution des conditions de la « bonne gestion » dans laquelle l’offre institutionnelle de la participation, aujourd’hui, a pris une place essentielle. The territory is a social system. As such, the "local democracy" can play a structuring and instigating role in the construction and the evolution of this micro- system. "Local democracy" is a field of experimentation in the processes of territorial innovations. How and with which actors does the local democracy contribute to the development of the territory? An analysis of the citizen participation is essential today. A historical interpretation is also necessary to understand the evolution of this social system. It is also important to identify the evolution of the conditions of the “good management”, in which the institutional offer of the participation has taken an essential place.
    Keywords: development of territories, local democracy, territorial innovations, citizen participation
    JEL: O20 O10 H11 K00
    Date: 2009–04
  11. By: Isaías N. Chaves; Leopoldo Fergusson; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: This paper constructs measures of the extent of ballot stuffing (fraudulent votes) and electoral coercion at the municipal level using data from Colombia.s 1922 Presidential elections. Our main findings are that the presence of the state reduced the extent of ballot stuffing, but that of the clergy, which was closely imbricated in partisan politics, increased coercion. We also show that landed elites to some extent substituted for the absence of the state and managed to reduce the extent of fraud where they were strong. At the same time, in places which were completely out of the sphere of the state, and thus partisan politics, both ballot stuffing and coercion were relatively low. Thus the relationship between state presence and fraud is not monotonic.
    JEL: H0
    Date: 2009–07
  12. By: Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt
    Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of agency losses (agency shirking and agency slippage) in the process of power delegation in EU trade policy. The central question is whether a conflictual situation exists between the interests of the member states and those of the European Commission (agency shirking), or whether the structure of delegation in itself stimulates the agent to adopt a different position from the principals (agency slippage). Drawing on the principal-agent approach, I argue that agency losses are due to the structure of delegation and that the existence of multiple principals with diverging preferences facilitates agency. I find empirical evidence that the Council-Commission relationship on trade politics has different dynamics depending on the negotiating stage. In the initial negotiating stage, when defining the negotiating mandate of the Commission, the relationship is cooperative. Conflict between the Commission and the Council only breaks out in a latter stage of negotiations, when the Commission makes concessions at the international level.
    Keywords: trade policy; agriculture policy; European Council; European Commission
    Date: 2009–03–15

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