New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒03‒20
eight papers chosen by

  1. The disadvantage of winning an election By Enriqueta Aragonès; Santiago Sánchez-Pagés
  2. Off-the-peak preferences over government size By Francisco Martínez Mora; M. Socorro Puy
  3. The impact of immigration on election outcomes in Danish municipalities By Gerdes, Christer; Wadensjö, Eskil
  4. On Strategy-proofness and Symmetric Single-peakedness By Jordi Massó; Inés Moreno de Barreda
  5. The Division Problem with Voluntary Participation By Gustavo Bergantiños; Jordi Massó; Alejandro Neme
  6. Fiscal Centralization and the Political Process By Fernando Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales
  7. The G20 Proposal on IMF Governance: Is there Progress? By Menkhoff, Lukas; Meyer, Reeno
  8. Reexamining the link between gender and corruption: The role of social institutions By Boris Branisa; Maria Ziegler

  1. By: Enriqueta Aragonès; Santiago Sánchez-Pagés
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to popular initiatives or policy proposals coming from different sources. We argue that this potential source of electoral disadvantage that the incumbent obtains after being elected can jeopardize the reelection possibilities of the incumbent. We analyze the decision of the incumbent when facing reelection and we characterize the conditions under which the advantages that the incumbent obtains can overcome the disadvantages. Finally, we use the results of this analysis to discuss some implica- tions of the use of mechanisms of direct democracy like referenda and popular assemblies on electoral competition.
    Keywords: Incumbency advantage, Referenda, Popular initiatives, Elections.
    JEL: D7 H1
    Date: 2010–03–08
  2. By: Francisco Martínez Mora; M. Socorro Puy
    Abstract: We show that preferences-bias towards overprovision or underprovision can explain the asymmetric location of electoral candidates with respect to the median voter. We analyze the determinants of preferences off-the-peak and find that: (i) The sign of the third derivative of the policy-induced utility function indicates whether preferences are bias towards overprovision (positive) or underprovision (negative). (ii) The analog of Kimball's coefficient of prudence can be used to measure the asymmetry of preferences. (iii) Consumers’risk aversion and government corruption (in the form of decreasing e¤ectiveness producing public good) induce voters’ preferences to be more intense towards underprovision.
    Date: 2010–02
  3. By: Gerdes, Christer (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the effects on support for different political parties following an increase in the immigrant share in Danish municipalities during a period marked by a substantial influx of refugees. The two anti-immigration parties in the political landscape of Denmark are among those that win votes as a result of this influx, but so also does a pro-immigration party on the left. Controlling for a number of social-economic aspects, our results thus point to some discontent with immigration; however, they do not support predictions of a general decline for political parties that are in favour of a generous welfare state, as proposed by some scholars.
    Keywords: immigration; immigrants; elections; racism; xenophobia
    JEL: D72 J15 J61
    Date: 2010–03–10
  4. By: Jordi Massó; Inés Moreno de Barreda
    Abstract: We characterize the class of strategy-proof social choice functions on the domain of symmetric single-peaked preferences. This class is strictly larger than the set of generalized median voter schemes (the class of strategy-proof and tops-only social choice functions on the domain of single-peaked preferences characterized by Moulin (1980)) since, under the domain of symmetric single-peaked preferences, generalized median voter schemes can be disturbed by discontinuity points and remain strategy-proof on the smaller domain. Our result identifies the specific nature of these discontinuities which allow to design non-onto social choice functions to deal with feasibility constraints.
    Keywords: Strategy-proofness, Single-peaked Preferences, Median Voter, Feasibility Constraints.
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2010–03–05
  5. By: Gustavo Bergantiños; Jordi Massó; Alejandro Neme
    Abstract: The division problem consists of allocating a given amount of an homogeneous and perfectly divisible good among a group of agents with single-peaked preferences on the set of their potential shares. A rule proposes a vector of shares for each division problem. The literature has implicitly assumed that agents will find acceptable any share they are assigned to. In this paper we consider the division problem when agents' participation is voluntary. Each agent has an idiosyncratic interval of acceptable shares where his preferences are single-peaked. A rule has to propose to each agent either to not participate or an acceptable share because otherwise he would opt out and this would require to reassign some of the remaining agents' shares. We study a subclass of efficient and consistent rules and characterize extensions of the uniform rule that deal explicitly with agents' voluntary participation.
    Keywords: Division Problem, Single-peaked Preferences, Uniform Rule, Voluntary Participation
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2010–03–05
  6. By: Fernando Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales
    Abstract: We study the dynamic support for fiscal decentralization in a political agency model from the perspective of a region. We show that corruption opportunities are lower under centralization at each period of time. However, centralization makes more difficult for citizens to detect corrupt incumbents. Thus, corruption is easier under centralization for low levels of political competition. We show that the relative advantage of centralization depends negatively on the quality of the local political class, but it is greater if the center and the region are subject to similar government productivity shocks. When we endogenize the quality of local politicians, we establish a positive link between the development of the private sector and the support for decentralization. Since political support to centralization evolves over time, driven either by economic/political development or by exogenous changes in preferences over public good consumption, it is possible that voters are (rationally) discontent about it. Also, preferences of voters and the politicians about centralization can diverge when political competition is weak.
    Date: 2010–01
  7. By: Menkhoff, Lukas; Meyer, Reeno
    Abstract: The G20 summits in 2009 have proposed major changes in governance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Most important seems to be the acknowledgment that the IMF in its current form lacks legitimacy and ownership. Accordingly, the G20 suggests a reallocation of voting shares to emerging and developing countries, an antedated reform of the quota system, a delinking of the managing director's election from regional origin and support for the Singapore quota and voice reform of 2006. Unfortunately, these reform decisions remain in part imprecise, they leave crucial issues untouched and they are not implemented, not even by several G20 countries themselves. So the intended reform takes the right direction but it must be implemented soon before any progress can be stated.
    Keywords: International Monetary Fund, governance, reform, quota system
    JEL: F33
    Date: 2010–03
  8. By: Boris Branisa (University of Göttingen); Maria Ziegler (University of Göttingen)
    Abstract: In this paper we reexamine the link between gender inequality and corruption. We review the literature on the relationship between representation of women in economic and political life, democracy and corruption, and bring in a new previously omitted variable that captures the level of discrimination against women in a society: social institutions related to gender inequality. Using a sample of developing countries we regress corruption on the representation of women, democracy and other control variables. Then we add the subindex civil liberties from the OECD Gender, Institutions and DevelopmentDatabase as the measure of social institutions related to gender inequality. The results show that corruption is higher in countries where social institutions deprive women of their freedom to participate in social life, even accounting for democracy and representation of women in political and economic life as well as for other variables. Our findings suggest that, in a context where social values disadvantage women, it might not be enough to push democratic reforms and to increase the participation of women to reduce corruption.
    Keywords: Social institutions; Gender inequality; Corruption
    JEL: D63 D73 J16
    Date: 2010–03–03

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