New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2009‒07‒17
six papers chosen by

  1. Competing on Good Politicians By Galasso, Vincenzo; Nannicini, Tommaso
  2. The Successful Ghana Election of 2008: A Convenient Myth? Ethnicity in Ghana's elections revisited By Jockers, Heinz; Kohnert, Dirk; Nugent, Paul
  3. Guilbaud's Theorem : an early contribution to judgment aggregation. By Daniel Eckert; Bernard Monjardet
  4. Stable Sets in Three Agent Pillage Games By Manfred Kerber; Colin Rowat
  6. Development of Direct Democracy in Swiss Cantons between 1997 and 2003 By Fischer, Justina AV

  1. By: Galasso, Vincenzo (Bocconi University); Nannicini, Tommaso (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Is electoral competition good for political selection? To address this issue, we introduce a theoretical model in which ideological parties select candidates between party loyalists and experts, and allocate them into the electoral districts. Non-ideological voters, who care about national and local policies, strongly prefer experts. We show that parties compete on good politicians by allocating them to the most contestable districts. Empirical evidence on Italian members of parliament confirms this prediction. We find that politicians with higher ex-ante quality − as measured by years of schooling, previous market income, and local government experience − are more likely to run in a contestable district. Indeed, despite being different on average, the characteristics of politicians belonging to opposite parties converge to high-quality levels in close races. Furthermore, politicians elected in contestable districts make fewer absences in parliament; this is shown to be driven more by a selection effect than by reelection incentives.
    Keywords: political competition, political selection, probabilistic voting
    JEL: D72 H00
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Jockers, Heinz; Kohnert, Dirk; Nugent, Paul
    Abstract: Ghana’s 2008 elections have been hailed by national and international observers as a model for Africa. This perception has prevailed despite persistent concerns about 'ethnic block voting' and electoral fraud. Electoral malpractice and vote rigging along ethnic lines in Ghana's virtual two-party system could regain a decisive importance as a 'third force' which could tip the balance in future, possibly coming to represent an even more important factor than the smaller opposition parties. Unfortunate diplomatic and technocratic biases in election monitoring, combined with a reluctance on the part of the responsible authorities to investigate, in what appears to be a long history of fraudulent 'ethnic block voting', amounts to a dangerous time bomb of unresolved conflict which could explode in future elections.
    Keywords: elections; ethnicity; election observation; informal institutions; impunity; Ghana; Africa;
    JEL: Z1 N47 D72
    Date: 2009–06–01
  3. By: Daniel Eckert (Institute of Public Economics - University of Graz); Bernard Monjardet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In a paper published in 1952, the French matematician Georges-Théodule Guilbaud has generalized Arrow's impossibility result to the "logical problem of aggregation", thus anticipating the literature on abstract aggregation theory and judgment aggregation. We reconstruct the proof of Guilbaud's theorem, which is also of technical interest, because it can be seen as the first use of ultrafilters in social choice theory.
    Keywords: Arrow's theorem, aggregation rule, judgment aggregation, logical connexions, simple game, ultrafilter.
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2009–06
  4. By: Manfred Kerber; Colin Rowat
    Abstract: Jordan [2006, “Pillage and property”, JET] characterises stable sets for three special cases of ‘pillage games’. For anonymous, three agent pillage games we show that: when the core is non-empty, it must take one of five forms; all such pillage games with an empty core represent the same dominance relation; when a stable set exists, and the game also satisfies a continuity and a responsiveness assumption, it is unique and contains no more than 15 elements. This result uses a three step procedure: first, if a single agent can defend all of the resources against the other two, these allocations belong to the stable set; dominance is then transitive on the loci of allocations on which the most powerful agent can, with any ally, dominate the third, adding the maximal elements of this set to the stable set; finally, if any allocations remain undominated or not included, the game over the remaining allocations is equivalent to the ‘majority pillage game’, which has a unique stable set [Jordan and Obadia, 2004, “Stable sets in majority pillage games”, mimeo]. Non-existence always reflects conditions on the loci of allocations along which the most powerful agent needs an ally. The analysis unifies the results in Jordan [2006] when n = 3.
    Keywords: pillage, cooperative game theory, core, stable sets, algorithm
    JEL: C63 C71 P14
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Dyuti Banerjee; Anupama Sethi
    Abstract: In this paper we consider different forms of intra-group transfers and the resulting type of group formation. We introduce the concept of partial joint liability and revenue sharing and show that this form of intra-group transfer may result in heterogeneous group formation. Its uniqueness is established by the fact that other transfer schemes always result in homogenous group formation.
    Keywords: Heterogeneous group formation, partial joint liability and revenue sharing
    JEL: O12 O16
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Fischer, Justina AV
    Abstract: This paper describes institutions of direct democracy between 1997 and 2003 in 26 Swiss cantons (states), specifically the statutory initiative and referendum, the constitutional initiative, and the fiscal referendum. In particular, it discusses their applications, but also the legal requirements for making use of them, including the signature requirements, the time available for their collection, and the financial thresholds. Optional and mandatory forms of these direct-legislative institutions are distinguished. This paper also provides calculations of the index and sub-indices of direct democracy for the additional years 1997 to 2003, in continuation of Stutzer (1999), using the identical methodology. Extending Trechsel and Serdült (1999) and Stutzer (1999) this paper includes the political institutions of the so-called Landsgemeinde cantons. Description of these institutions is based on the author’s reading of 26 cantonal constitutions in their versions between 1997 and 2003.
    Keywords: institutions; direct democracy; direct legislation; initiative; referendum; fiscal referendum; constitution; Switzerland: culture
    JEL: H4 D7 H11 I31 H72 K19 H73 N40
    Date: 2009–07–08

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