nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒04‒11
five papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Partially Binding Platforms: Political Promises as a Partial Commitment Device By Yasushi Asako
  2. Do Leaders Affect Government Spending Priorities? By Adi Brender; Allan Drazen
  3. Interest Groups, Information Manipulation in the Media, and Public Policy: The Case of the Landless Peasants Movement in Brazil By Lee J. Alston; Gary D. Libecap; Bernardo Mueller
  4. A Generalized Condorcet Jury Theorem with Two Independent Probabilities of Error By Roland Kirstein; Georg v. Wangenheim
  5. Linear Cost Share Equilibria and the Veto Power of the Grand Coalition By Maria Gabriella Graziano; Maria Romaniello

  1. By: Yasushi Asako (Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan (E-mail:
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of campaign platforms in political competition when campaign platforms are partially binding: a candidate who implements a policy different from his/her platform must pay a cost of betrayal that increases with the size of the discrepancy. With partially binding platforms, the median-voter theorem does not hold, and candidates always implement different policies in equilibrium. If and only if the cost of betrayal goes to infinity for any degree of betrayal, the median-voter theorem holds. Partially binding platforms also can predict who wins. A candidate who is more moderate, less policy-motivated and whose cost of betrayal is higher than the opposition with the same degree of betrayal wins. The degree of honesty can be derived endogenously, and candidates who have the above characteristics are more honest.
    Keywords: Electoral Competition, Median-voter Theorem, Valence, Campaign Platforms
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Adi Brender; Allan Drazen
    Abstract: Since a key function of competitive elections is to allow voters to express their policy preferences, one might take it for granted that when leadership changes, policy change follows. Using a dataset we created on the composition of central government expenditures in a panel of 71 democracies over 1972-2003, we test whether changes in leadership induce significant changes in one measure of policy - spending composition - as well as looking at the effect of other political and economic variables. We find that the replacement of a leader tends to have no significant effect on expenditure composition in the short-run. This remains true after controlling for a host of political and economic variables. However, over the medium-term leadership changes are associated with larger changes in expenditure composition, mostly in developed countries. We also find that in established democracies, election years are associated with larger changes in expenditure composition while new democracies, which were found by Brender and Drazen (2005) to raise their overall level of expenditures in election years, tend not to have such changes.
    Keywords: Budget; Political Leaders; Elections; Fiscal Policy; Expenditure Composition
    JEL: D72 O10 D78
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Lee J. Alston; Gary D. Libecap; Bernardo Mueller
    Abstract: We extend the literature on interest group behavior and policy outcomes by examining how groups with limited resources (votes and campaign contributions) effectively influence government by manipulating media information to voters. Voters in turn lobby politicians to implement the group’s preferred policies. In this manner interest groups can secure favorable government actions beyond their size and wealth. This is an important contribution because of the increased role of the media in the information age and because this linkage better explains observed government policies. We develop a multi-principal, multi-task model of interest group behavior and generate the characteristics of interest groups that would be most successful using publicity to secure their policy objectives. We apply the model to the Landless Peasants’ Movement in Brazil. We detail how the Landless Peasants’ Movement molds information; show the general voter response; and examine the reaction of politicians in changing the timing and nature of policy.
    JEL: D23 D72 D78 O13 Q15
    Date: 2010–04
  4. By: Roland Kirstein (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke-University); Georg v. Wangenheim (University of Kassel, Faculty of Law)
    Abstract: The Condorcet Jury Theorem is derived from the implicit assumption that jury members only commit one type of error. If the probability of this error is smaller than 0.5, then group decisions are better than those of individual members. In binary decision situations, however, two types of error may occur, the probabilities of which are independent of each other. Taking this into account leads to a generalization of the theorem. Under this generalization, situations exists in which the probability of error is greater than 0.5 but the jury decision generates a higher expected welfare than an individual decision. Conversely, even if the probability of error is lower than 0.5 it is possible that individual decisions are superior.
    Keywords: Group decisions, judicial, imperfect decision-making
    JEL: D71 K40 L22
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Maria Gabriella Graziano (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Maria Romaniello (Seconda Università di Napoli)
    Abstract: We consider pure exchange economies with finitely many private goods involving the choice of a public project. We discuss core-equivalence results in the general framework of non-Euclidean representation of the collective goods. We define a contribution scheme to capture the fraction of the total cost of providing the project that each blocking coalition is expected to cover. We show that for each given contribution scheme defined over the wider class of Aubin coalitions, the resulting core is equivalent to the corresponding linear cost share equilibria. We also characterize linear cost share equilibria in terms of the veto power of the grand coalition. It turns out that linear cost share equilibria are exactly those allocations that cannot be blocked by the grand coalition with reference to auxiliary economies with the same space of agents and modified initial endowments and cost functions. Unlike the Aubin-type equivalence, this characterization does not depend on a particular contribution scheme.
    Keywords: Public project, cost share equilibrium, core, non-dominated allocation, grand coalition
    JEL: D51 D60 H41
    Date: 2010–03–25

This nep-cdm issue is ©2010 by Roland Kirstein. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.