New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒05‒29
ten papers chosen by

  1. Duty, Self-interest, and the Chance of Casting a Pivotal Vote By Dan Usher
  2. Political Cycles in Active Labor Market Policies By Mechtel, Mario; Potrafke, Niklas
  3. Three Papers on Bargaining By Dan Usher
  4. Coalition Formation among Farsighted Agents By Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Mauleon Ana; Vannetelbosch Vincent
  5. Power Laws in Firm Size and Openness to Trade: Measurement and Implications By Andrei A. Levchenko; Julian di Giovanni; Romain Ranciere
  6. The Uncertain Relationship between Corruption and Growth in Developing Countries: Threshold Effects and State Effectiveness By Alice N. Sindzingre; Christian Milelli
  7. Length of compulsory education and voter turnout: evidence from a staged reform. By Pelkonen, P.
  8. A probabilistic position value By Amandine Ghintran; Enrique Gonzalez-Arangüena; Conrado Manuel
  9. Who is left-wing, and who just thinks they are? By James Rockey
  10. The media and public agendas: testing for media effects in Argentina during the Kirchner administration By Juan Carlos Cuestas; Sebastián Freille; Patricio O'Gorman

  1. By: Dan Usher (Queen's University)
    Abstract: One votes from self-interest or from a sense of duty. Voting from self-interest requires there to be some chance, however small, that one’s vote swings the outcome of an election from one political party to another. This paper is a discussion of three models of what that chance might be: the common sense model inferring the probability of a tied vote today from the distribution of outcomes in past elections, person-to-person randomization where each voter looks upon the rest of the electorate as analogous to drawings from an urn with given proportions of red and blue balls, and nation-wide randomization where voters are lined up according to their preferences for one party or the other but where chance shifts the entire schedule of preferences up or down. Emphasis is on the third model about which the paper may have something new to say. Nation-wide randomization may be helpful in connecting private benefits from a win for one’s preferred party with a duty to vote, and in comparing the pros and cons of compulsory voting.
    Keywords: Pivital voting, Duty to vote, compulsory voting
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Mechtel, Mario; Potrafke, Niklas
    Abstract: This paper examines how electoral motives and government ideology influence active labor market policies (ALMP). We present a model that explains how politicians strategically use ALMP to generate political cycles in unemployment and the budget deficit. Election-motivated politicians increase ALMP spending before elections irrespective of their party ideology. Leftwing politicians spend more on ALMP than rightwing politicians. We test the hypotheses derived from our model using German state data from 1985:1 to 2004:11. The results suggest that ALMP (job-creation schemes) were pushed before elections.
    Keywords: active labor market policies, political cycles, labor market expenditures, opportunistic politicians, partisan politicians
    JEL: J08 E62 H72 H61 P16
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Dan Usher (Queen's University)
    Abstract: 1) Bargaining Unexplained, page 2 2) Bargaining Assumptions in the Study of Politics, Law and War, page 27 3) Bargaining and Voting, page 49
    Keywords: bargaining, voting, fairness, equilibrium
    JEL: C70
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Mauleon Ana; Vannetelbosch Vincent (METEOR)
    Abstract: A set of coalition structures P is farsightedly stable (i) if all possible deviations from any coalition structure p belonging to P to a coalition structure outside P are deterred by the threat of ending worse off or equally well off, (ii) if there exists a farsighted improving path from any coalition structure outside the set leading to some coalition structure in the set, and (iii) if there is no proper subset of P satisfying the first two conditions. A non-empty farsightedly stable set always exists. We provide a characterization of unique farsightedly stable sets of coalition structures and we study the relationship between farsighted stability and other concepts such as the largest consistent set and the von Neumann-Morgenstern farsightedly stable set. Finally, we illustrate our results by means of coalition formation games with positive spillovers.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Andrei A. Levchenko; Julian di Giovanni; Romain Ranciere
    Abstract: Existing estimates of power laws in firm size typically ignore the impact of international trade. Using a simple theoretical framework, we show that international trade systematically affects the distribution of firm size: the power law exponent among exporting firms should be strictly lower in absolute value than the power law exponent among non-exporting rms. We use a dataset of French firms to demonstrate that this prediction is strongly supported by the data. While estimates of power law exponents have been used to pin down parameters in theoretical and quantitative models, our analysis implies that the existing estimates are systematically lower than the true values. We propose two simple ways of estimating power law parameters that take explicit account of exporting behavior.
    Keywords: Corporate sector , Exports , International trade , Trade models ,
    Date: 2010–04–28
  6. By: Alice N. Sindzingre; Christian Milelli
    Abstract: In the literature of development economics, corruption is usually conceived as detrimental to economic growth. This conventional wisdom, however, may be called into question. Many countries witnessed growth despite corruption, e.g., commodity-dependent and high-growth East Asian countries. The paper argues, through a comparison of Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, that the relationships between corruption and economic growth are difficult to demonstrate. It highlights two crucial factors that explain the lack of robustness of this relationship. Firstly, this lack of robustness stems from the methods of measurement, which are usually based on the building of indices, modelling and econometric techniques. These methods are inappropriate for a concept such as ‘corruption’, which refers to complex and heterogeneous phenomena that are difficult to subsume in a single and stable definition. A second set of factors underlying the weakness of the relationship between corruption and growth is the dependence of causal processes on specific contexts. The effects of corrupt practices on an economy depend on its particular history, its economic structures, its political economy and types of institutions: for these reasons, they vary across countries and regions. Causal links between corruption and growth may exist, but they are non-linear and subject to threshold effects. Beyond certain thresholds, which are built by specific contexts (i.e., the combination of many contextual factors, political, economic, institutional), corruption phenomena can be detrimental to growth; before reaching these thresholds, the impact of corruption on growth may be limited. These thresholds can be assessed only ex post: they cannot be measured ex ante, as they precisely depend on contexts that vary across space, countries and history. In some contexts, economic and political factors may reinforce each other, e.g. corruption, political instability, economic distortions and vulnerability, such as commodity-based market structures. This results in ‘low equilibria’ that combine low growth and pervasive corruption, and thresholds, which, once low equilibria are stabilised, it is very difficult to get out from under (‘poverty traps’). In other contexts, these factors may all exist. They remain separated, however; corruption does not combine with other economic and political factors and is contained, which makes it possible for countries not to fall into ‘lower’ equilibria. The state is here the core entity able to prevent the reciprocal reinforcement of corruption and other economic or political structures - and hence the formation of poverty traps -, and to make corruption subservient to growth objectives. This state capacity that can confine and control corruption, which exists in some countries but not in others, is a key factor in the differences in impacts of corruption on growth.
    Keywords: corruption, growth, political economy, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia
    JEL: O10 O43 K40
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Pelkonen, P.
    Abstract: In this study, a long-term impact of additional schooling at the lower end of the educational distribution is measured on voter turnout. Schooling is instrumented with a staged Norwegian school reform, which increased minimum attainment by two years – from seven to nine. The impact is measured at two levels: individual, and municipality level. Both levels of analysis suggest that the additional education has no effect on the turnout rates. At the individual level, the impact of education is also tested on various measures of civic outcomes. Of these, only the likelihood of signing a petition is positively affected by education.
    Date: 2009–09
  8. By: Amandine Ghintran (Óbuda University); Enrique Gonzalez-Arangüena; Conrado Manuel
    Abstract: In this article, we generalize the position value, defined by Meessen (1988) for the class of deterministic communication situations, to the class of generalized probabilistic communication situations (G´omez et al. (2008)). We provide two characterizations of this new allocation rule. Following in Slikker’s (2005a) footsteps, we characterize the probabilistic position value using probabilistic versions of component eciency and balanced link contributions. Then we generalize the notion of link potential, defined by Slikker (2005b) for the class of deterministic communication situations, to the class of generalized probabilistic communication situations, and use it to characterize our allocation rule. Finally, we show that these two characterizations are logically equivalent.
    Keywords: Game Theory, TU Games, Graph-restricted Games, Position Value.; Game Theory, TU Games, Graph-restricted Games, Position Value.
    Date: 2010
  9. By: James Rockey
    Abstract: This paper suggests that there are consistent patterns in how different groups of individuals perceive their relative ideological position. Using data from a large-scale cross-country survey on individuals views and personal characteristics it compares who reports themselves as being left(right) wing and who on an objective measure are actually left(right) wing. It finds, for example, the more educated on average believe themselves to be more left wing than their actual beliefs on a substantive issue might suggest.
    Keywords: Ideology, Voter Preferences
    Date: 2009–09
  10. By: Juan Carlos Cuestas; Sebastián Freille; Patricio O'Gorman
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the presence of agenda-setting effects by the print media in Argentina during 2003 and 2008. Using previously unavailable monthly data on newspapers mentions we test two hypotheses about the relationship between the different agendas. We find support for the hypothesis that there were media effects during our period of analyisis. More specifically, we find that the total number of newspaper mentions of the President positively influenced public confidence in the government. Finally, there is also evidence of a strong and stable relationship between the total number of economic news and leading economic indicators.
    Keywords: Agenda-setting, Public opinion, Cointegration, Media effects
    Date: 2010–05

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.