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

  1. Electoral Participation and Communicative Voting in Europe By Sobbrio, Francesco; Navarra, Pietro
  2. Endogenous Choice of Electoral Rules in a Multi-party System with Two Dominant Parties By Xefteris, Dimitrios; Matakos, Kostas
  3. A Citizens-Editors Model of News Media By Sobbrio, Francesco
  4. Religion, Clubs, and Emergent Social Divides By Michael D. Makowsky
  5. 60 Jahre Grundgesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einige Bemerkungen zu Demokratie und Föderalismus in Deutschland aus schweizerischer Perspektive By Gebhard Kirchgässner
  6. Efficient coalition formation and stable coalition structures in a supply chain environment By Popp, Alexandru W. A.
  7. An experimental study into the influence of works council advice on managerial decision-making By Saraï Sapulete; Arjen van Witteloostuijn; Wesley Kaufmann
  8. Gender and Generosity: Does Degree of Anonymity or Group Gender Composition Matter? By C. Bram Cadsby; Maroš Servátka; Fei Song

  1. By: Sobbrio, Francesco; Navarra, Pietro
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical investigation of electoral participation and communicative voting in 14 European countries. We estimate a multi-level voting process where individuals face a participation decision (whether to vote or abstain) and a voting decision (whether to vote strategically for a likely winner party or as communicating for a sure loser party). Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, individuals who are either independent or uninformed are less likely to turnout. However, being both independent and uninformed does not have any statistically significant effect on electoral participation. Thus, our results question the empirical relevance of the swing voter's curse theory in large elections. Second, the probability of voting as communicating is positively related with the level of education and the degree of dissatisfaction with the political system. Finally, political preferences and institutional features characterizing the functioning of the political system and of the media market have a significant effect both on electoral participation and on the voting decision.
    Keywords: Electoral turnout; Swing Voter's Curse; Communicative voting; Strategic voting; Multi-level qualitative choices
    JEL: D72 C25
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Xefteris, Dimitrios (University of Cyprus); Matakos, Kostas (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We develop a model of endogenous choice of electoral rules in a multiparty system with two dominant parties, in an environment of uncertainty about the outcome of the election. Using quasi-lexicographic preferences over the number of seats necessary for a party to form a single-party government we explore the choice of the electoral law by the parties. We show that the minor parties never agree to an electoral reform that distorts the Proportional Representation system (PR). We also show that when the electoral competition among the two dominant parties is non-trivial there exists a unique and stable equilibrium: a unique new electoral rule is being adapted by the parliament in substitution of the PR rule. That is we show that when uncertainty about the outcome of the elections is present and if the dominant parties have a strong desire for single-party governments then strategic incentives to collude between them and distort the PR rule kick in. Hence, by colluding they also increase the probability that the winner will form a single-party government. The paper in e¤ect shows that under an uncertain political environment the two dominant parties have an incentive to collude in favour of stability (single-party governments) by eliminating the e¤ect of the third party in the formation of government. To conclude we also show that the equilibrium with the above characteristic is also unique. In an extension we use the timing of the electoral reform as a strategic variable.
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Sobbrio, Francesco
    Abstract: We model a market for news where profit maximizing media outlets choose their editors from a population of rational citizens. We show that when information acquisition is costly, liberal (conservative) citizens find optimal to acquire information from a media outlet having a liberal (conservative) editor. Consequently, we show that depending on the distribution of citizens' ideological preferences, a media outlet may choose to hire a non-moderate editor even in a monopolistic market. Moreover, the higher the degree of competition in the market for news, the more likely that media outlets will hire non-moderate editors. Finally, less moderate editors are more likely to be hired in a news market where the opportunity cost of acquiring information for citizens is low.
    Keywords: Media Bias; Information Acquisition; Valence; Competition
    JEL: D81 D72 D83
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Michael D. Makowsky (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: Arguments for and against the existence of an American cultural divide are frequently placed in a religious context. This paper seeks to establish that, all politics aside, the American religious divide is real, that modern religious polarization is not a uniquely American phenomenon, and that religious divides can be understood as naturally emergent within the club theory of religion. Analysis of the 2005 Baylor University Religion Survey reveals a bimodal distribution of religious commitment in the United States. International survey data reveals bimodal distributions in twenty-five of twenty-nine surveyed countries. The club theory of religion, when applied in a multi-agent model, generates bimodal distributions of religious commitment whose emergence correlates to the substitutability of club goods for standard goods and the mean population wage rate. This tendency towards religious polarization has important ramifications for majority rule electoral outcomes when religion is politically salient. Majority rule, principally analogous to the statistical median, is a non-robust estimator of voter preferences when they are bimodally distributed. Given recent evidence that religiosity has come to dominate income as a determinant of voter preferences, small errors can be anticipated to disproportionately affect electoral outcomes in the U.S.
    Keywords: Culture Divide, Religious Divide, Club Theory, Multi-Agent Model, Sacrifice and Stigma
    Date: 2009–09
  5. By: Gebhard Kirchgässner
    Abstract: In comparing Switzerland and Germany, this paper discusses basic but potentially conflicting constitutional principles and the problems which can arise from such conflicts and which have to be handled by a constitution. We concentrate on three central areas: (i) the tension between democracy and the rule of law, (ii) direct versus (purely) representative democracy, and (iii) competitive versus co-operative federalism, where we also discuss problems of fiscal equalisation systems. Finally, we present some proposals for a reform of the German political system.
    Keywords: Direct Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Federalism, Fiscal Equalisation
    JEL: H11 H70
    Date: 2009–10
  6. By: Popp, Alexandru W. A.
    Abstract: We study a real supply chain environment from which specific information and knowledge can be extrapolated for other similar environments. We focus our research on the analysis of the interactions between members forming different teams (and between the teams themselves), and on the leader’s management of the supply chain. We note that there are many elements that contribute to the profitability of the network, which is dependent on the actions of the actors involved. We analyze certain characteristics that the actors have, such as their behavior, adaptation and learning levels, effort and willingness. Based on these components, we examine the performance of our actors and of the teams that the actors form. We provide specific calculations that take into account most of the components determining the added value to the system. One of the advantages of our main formula is that it can be used to monitor the progress of the actors, as well as it can help in the identification of problematic aspects impeding in the creation of value for the system. Our formula is very flexible and a modeler is able to adapt it to similar environments, providing him with great insight in the structures that he investigates. We study certain theoretical games from which we uncover certain information and characteristics of similar environments and settings. Moreover, we provide a real life example in order to truly understand the mechanism of the network, and validate our theoretical assessments. Moreover, we provide certain recommendations for a leader that is responsible for the supervision of actors (which have specific responsibilities) and the administration of a supply chain environment.
    Keywords: coalition; supply chain management; core; value of the game; Coalition Factor Estimation
    JEL: M12 D23 M11 B40 C71 C44 D74 J21 L23 C72
    Date: 2009–10–27
  7. By: Saraï Sapulete; Arjen van Witteloostuijn; Wesley Kaufmann
    Abstract: This paper experimentally studies the potential effect of works councils on managerial decision-making. Empirical evidence on the influence of works councils in organizations is still mixed. Therefore, this experimental study tries to gain more insights into the mechanisms that may underlie the impact of works council advice. First, we try to explain whether advice given by a works council influences the decision managers make. Second, we attempt to explain whether works councils delay the decision-making process. In order to answer these questions, we conducted experiments with undergraduate students, who played a two-player Prisoner's Dilemma price-setting game. One group received advice from a works council, whilst the other group did not. As expected, advice does have an influence on decision-making: receiving advice for setting a low price leads to a higher likelihood to set a low price as well, and receiving advice to set a high price leads to a high price decision. Female managers are more likely to take the works council advice into account. Subjects with an other-regarding orientation tend to choose a high price, even when they are advised to opt for a low price. Further, decisionmaking is not delayed by the advice, but there is an interaction effect with gender: female managers receiving advice tend to think longer about their decision.
    Keywords: works council advice, experimental economics, managerial decisionmaking
    JEL: J53 C91 L29
    Date: 2009–10
  8. By: C. Bram Cadsby; Maroš Servátka (University of Canterbury); Fei Song
    Abstract: Employing a two-by-two factorial design that manipulates whether dictator groups are single or mixed-sex and whether procedures are single or double-blind, we examine gender effect in a standard dictator game. No gender effect was found in any of the experimental treatments. Moreover, neither single- versus mixed-sex groups nor level of anonymity had any impact on either male or female behavior.
    Keywords: Anonymity; dictator game; experiment; gender; generosity; group composition; other-regarding; selfish
    JEL: C91 D64
    Date: 2009–10–23

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