New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒04‒17
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Correcting for Survey Effects in Pre-election Polls By Heij, C.; Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
  2. Majorities with a quorum. By Annick Laruelle; Federico Valenciano
  3. Hierarchy of Players in Swap Robust Voting Games and Minimal Winning Coalitions By Bishnu, Monisankar; Roy, Sonali
  4. Majority Voting and the Welfare Implications of Tax Avoidance By Christian Traxler
  5. Quaternary dichotomous voting rules. By Annick Laruelle; Federico Valenciano
  6. Off-the-peak preferences over government size* By Francisco Martínez-Mora; M. Socorro Puy
  7. Local Economies and General Elections: The Influence of Municipal and Regional Economic Conditions on Voting in Sweden 1985–2002 By Elinder, Mikael
  8. Larger groups may alleviate collective action problems By Sung Ha Hwang
  9. Impossibility results for infinite-electorate abstract aggregation rules By Frederik Herzberg; Daniel Eckert
  10. Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft in Cooperatives By Nilsson, J.; Hendrikse, G.W.J.
  11. Corporate governance and public corruption By Cusolito, Ana

  1. By: Heij, C.; Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (Erasmus Econometric Institute)
    Abstract: Pre-election polls can suffer from survey effects. For example, surveyed individuals can become more aware of the upcoming election so that they become more inclined to vote. These effects may depend on factors like political orientation and prior intention to vote, and this may cause biases in forecasts of election outcomes. We advocate a simple methodology to estimate the magnitude of these survey effects, which can be taken into account when translating future poll results into predicted election outcomes. The survey effects are estimated by collecting survey data both before and after the election. We illustrate our method by means of a field study with data concerning the 2009 European Parliament elections in the Netherlands. Our study provides empirical evidence of significant positive survey effects with respect to voter participation, especially for individuals with low intention to vote. For our data, the overall survey effect on party shares is small. This effect can be more substantial for less balanced survey samples, for example, if political orientation and voting intention are correlated in the sample. We conclude that pre-election polls that do not correct for survey effects will overestimate voter turnout and will have biased party shares.
    Keywords: pre-election polls;survey effects;intention modification;self-prophecy;data collection;turnout forecast;bias correction
    Date: 2010–03–31
  2. By: Annick Laruelle (UPV/EHU); Federico Valenciano (UPV/EHU)
    Abstract: Based on a general model of \"quaternary\" voting rule, sensitive to voters. choices between four di¤erent options (abstaining, voting \"yes\", voting \"no\" and staying home), we systematically study di¤erent types of majority and quorum. The model allows for a precise formulation of majority rules and quorum con- straints. For such rules four types of majority can be de.ned. We also consider four types of quorum. Then we study the possible combinations of a majority system with a type of quorum and provide examples from rules actually used in parliaments.
    Date: 2010–03–11
  3. By: Bishnu, Monisankar; Roy, Sonali
    Abstract: Ordinarily, the process of decision making by a committee through voting is modelled by a monotonic game the range of whose characteristic function is restricted to {0,1}. The decision rule that governs the collective action of a voting body induces a hierarchy in the set of players in terms of the a-priori influence that the players have over the decision making process. In order to determine this hierarchy in a swap robust game, one has to either evaluate a number-based power index (e.g., the Shapley-Shubik index, the Banzhaf-Coleman index) for each player or conduct a pairwise comparison between players in order to find out whether there exists a coalition in which player i is desirable over another player j as a coalition partner. In this paper we outline a much simpler and more elegant mechanism to determine the ranking of players in terms of their a-priori power using only minimal winning coalitions, rather than the entire set of winning coalitions.
    Keywords: simple game; swap robust game; desirability; weak desirability; lexicographic ordering
    JEL: C71 D71
    Date: 2009–10–01
  4. By: Christian Traxler (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: A benchmark result in the political economy of taxation is that majority voting over a linear income tax schedule will result in an ine±ciently high tax rate whenever the median voter has a below average income. The present paper examines the role of tax avoidance for this welfare assessment. We find that the inefficiency in the voting equilibrium is the lower, the higher the average level of tax avoidance in the economy, or equivalently, the lower the median voter's amount of avoidance. The result holds for endogenous avoidance and labor choice and, under certain conditions, for an endogenous enforcement policy.
    Keywords: Tax avoidance, welfare analysis, majority voting, median voter equilibrium
    JEL: H26 D72 D6
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Annick Laruelle (UPV/EHU); Federico Valenciano (UPV/EHU)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a general model of \"quaternary\" dichotomous voting rules (QVRs), namely, voting rules for making collective dichotomous decisions (to accept or reject a proposal), based on vote pro.les in which four options are available to each voter: voting (\"yes\", \"no\".or \"abstaining\") or staying home and not turning out. The model covers most of actual real-world dichotomus rules, where quorums are often required, and some of the extensions considered in the literature. In particular, we address and solve the question of the representability of QVRs by means of weighted rules and extend the notion of \"dimension\"of a rule.
    JEL: C71 D71
    Date: 2010–03–11
  6. By: Francisco Martínez-Mora; M. Socorro Puy
    Abstract: We study the political consequences of policy preferences which are non-symmetric around the peak. While the usual assumption of symmetric preferences is innocuous in political equilibria with plat-forms convergence, it is not neutral when candidates are differentiated. We show that a larger government size emerges when preferences of the median voter off-the-peak are more intense towards overprovision (what we call wasteful preferences), whereas a smaller government results when her preferences are more intense towards underprovision (scrooge preferences). We then 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 wasteful (positive) or scrooge (negative). (ii) The analog of Kimball's coefficient of prudence can be used to measure degrees of wastefulness and scroogeness. (iii) Consumers' risk aversion and government decreasing effectiveness in producing the public good generate scrooge.
    Keywords: Single-peaked preferences; citizen-candidate; coefficient of prudence; differentiated platforms; risk-aversion
    JEL: D72 H31 H5
    Date: 2010–01
  7. By: Elinder, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper presents a detailed analysis of voters’ responses to municipality and regional-level unemployment and economic growth, using panel data on 284 municipalities and 9 regions, covering Swedish general elections from 1982 to 2002. The preferred specification suggests that a reduction in regional unemployment by one percentage point is associated with an increase in the support for the national government by about 1.7 percentage points. The effect of growth, at the regional level, is substantial in size, but statistically insignificant. At the municipality level, unemployment has a smaller effect than at the regional level and growth has no effect on government support.
    Keywords: Elections; Voting; Local Economic Conditions
    JEL: H11 R11 R12 R58
    Date: 2010–01–05
  8. By: Sung Ha Hwang (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This paper shows how larger group size can enhance punishing behavior in social dilemmas and hence support higher levels of cooperation. We focus on describing conflict technology using Lanchester's equations and study the role of "collectivity" of punishment to support cooperation in large groups. The main results suggest that as long as defectors are, even slightly, less "collective" than punishers, Lanchester's law can be applied to show that a smaller proportion of punishers can successfully eliminate defectors as the size of the population increases. JEL Categories:
    Keywords: Collective action, group size, collective punishment, Lanchester's law
    Date: 2009–06
  9. By: Frederik Herzberg (Institute of Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Daniel Eckert (Institute of Public Economics, Graz University)
    Abstract: It is well known that the literature on judgment aggregation inherits the impossibility results from the aggregation of preferences that it generalises. This is due to the fact that the typical judgment aggregation problem induces an ultrafilter on the the set of individuals, as was shown in a model theoretic framework by Herzberg and Eckert (2009), generalising the Kirman-Sondermann correspondence and extending the methodology of Lauwers and Van Liedekerke (1995). In the finite case, dictatorship then immediately follows from the principality of an ultrafilter on a finite set. This is not the case for an infinite set of individuals, where there exist free ultrafilters, as Fishburn already stressed in 1970. The main problem associated with free ultrafilters in the literature on aggregation problems is however, the arbitrariness of their selection combined with the limited anonymity they guarantee (which already led Kirman and Sondermann (1972) to speak about invisible dictators). Following another line of Lauwers and Van Liedekerke's (1995) seminal paper, this note explores another source of impossibility results for free ultrafilters: The domain of an ultraproduct over a free ultrafilter extends the individual factor domains, such that the preservation of the truth value of some sentences by the aggregate model --- if this is as usual to be restricted to the original domain --- may again require the exclusion of free ultrafilters, leading to dictatorship once again.
    Keywords: Arrow-type preference aggregation, judgment aggregation, model theory, first-order predicate logic, filter, ultrafilter, reduced product, ultraproduct, existential quantifier
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2010–02
  10. By: Nilsson, J.; Hendrikse, G.W.J. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: A cooperative business consists of a cooperative society and a cooperative business firm. The society of members intends to control the business in such a way as to focus the business operations on its interests. The two organizational units tend, however, to follow different behavioral logics. Borrowing some core concepts from classical sociology, Gemeinschaft norms rule ruling within the membership, while Gesellschaft norms dominate the business firms. Thereby it may be difficult to accomplish alignment between the membership organization and the business organization in order to be competitive. This paper addresses the difficulties of following the different logics by exploring Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft within agricultural cooperatives with a focus on the membership logics.
    Keywords: cooperative;membership;gemeinschaft;gesellschaft;alignment
    Date: 2009–12–15
  11. By: Cusolito, Ana
    Abstract: Corporate governance in the private sector and corruption are important for economic development and private sector development. This paper investigates how corporate governance in private-sector media companies can affect public corruption. The analytical framework, based on models of corporate governance, identifies two channels through which media ownership concentration affects corruption: an owner effect, which discourages corruption and a competition-for-control effect that enhances it. When the ownership structure of a newspaper has a majority shareholder, the first effect dominates and corruption decreases as ownership becomes more concentrated in the hands of majority shareholders. Without majority shareholders, the competition-for-control effect dominates and corruption increases with the concentration of ownership of the media company. Thus, the paper shows that cases of intermediate media-ownership concentration are the worst at promoting public accountability, while extreme situations, where the ownership is completely concentrated or widely held, can result in similar and lower levels of corruption.
    Keywords: Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Corporate Law,Emerging Markets,Debt Markets,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2010–03–01

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