New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒07‒10
nine papers chosen by

  1. Rational Choice and Voter Turnout: Evidence from Union Representation Elections By Henry S. Farber
  2. Spain’s Referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty: A Quantitative Analysis Within the Conceptual Framework of First and Second Order Elections By Ozgur Erkan
  3. Political Intervention in Economica Activity By Enrique Gilles
  4. Opportunistic and Partisan Election Cycles in Brazil: New Evidence at the Municipal Level By Sakurai, Sergio Naruhiko; Menezes, Naercio
  5. Twitter in Congress: Outreach vs Transparency By Chi, Feng; Yang, Nathan
  6. Does membership on the UN Security Council influence IMF conditionality? By Axel Dreher; Jan-Egbert Sturm; James Raymond Vreeland
  7. The Arrow Impossibility Theorem: Where Do We Go From Here? By Eric Maskin
  8. The Role of Membership Rules in Regional Organizations By Kelley, Judith
  9. Values on regular games under Kirchhoff's laws By Fabien Lange; Michel Grabisch

  1. By: Henry S. Farber
    Abstract: The standard theoretical solution to the observation of substantial turnout in large elections is that individuals receive utility from the act of voting. However, this leaves open the question of whether or not there is a significant margin on which individuals consider the effect of their vote on the outcome in deciding whether or not to vote. In order to address this issue, I study turnout in union representation elections in the U.S. (government supervised secret ballot elections, generally held at the workplace, on the question of whether the workers would like to be represented by a union). These elections provide a particularly good laboratory to study voter behavior because many of the elections have sufficiently few eligible voters that individuals can have a substantial probability of being pivotal. I develop a rational choice model of turnout in these elections, and I implement this model empirically using data on over 75,000 of these elections held from 1972-2009. The results suggest that most individuals (over 80 percent) vote in these elections independent of consideration of the likelihood that they will be pivotal. Among the remainder, the probability of voting is related to variables that influence the probability of a vote being pivotal (election size and expected closeness of the election). These findings are consistent with the standard rational choice model.
    JEL: D72 J51
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Ozgur Erkan
    Abstract: In contrast to the attention devoted to the rejection of the EU Constitutional Treaty at French and Dutch referenda; the Spanish referendum, where this Treaty was ratified, remained under-researched by political scientists. This paper analyses the voting behaviour at the Spanish referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty with the use of quantitative methods and the concept of first and second-order elections. This paper finds that the Spanish referendum was a second-order referendum, because the effects of domestic political issues in Spain had a greater impact on the electoral behaviour of Spanish voters than had genuinely European issues. This finding raises doubts over the suitability of using direct democracy in the EU in order to raise the legitimacy and democratic accountability of the European project.
    Keywords: Spain, EU, referendum, European Constitutional Treaty, first and second-order elections
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Enrique Gilles
    Abstract: This paper proposes a political economy explanation of bailouts to declining industries. A model of probabilistic voting is developed, in which two candidates compete for the vote of two groups of the society through tactical redistribution. We allow politicians to have core support groups they understand better, this im- plies politicians are more or less effective to deliver favors to some groups. This setting is suited to reproduce pork barrels or machine politics and patronage. We use this model to illustrate the case of an economy with both an efficient industry and a declining one, in which workers elect their government. We present the con- ditions under which the political process ends up with the lagged-behind industry being allowed to survive.
    Date: 2010–05–31
  4. By: Sakurai, Sergio Naruhiko; Menezes, Naercio
    Date: 2010–10
  5. By: Chi, Feng; Yang, Nathan
    Abstract: The paper provides some support in favor of Twitter adoption being driven by outreach reasons, rather than the well-popularized transparency motive. Furthermore, outreach considerations factor into a Republican's perceived benefit more than a Democrat's.
    Keywords: Government communication; diffusion of technology; political marketing; social media.
    JEL: O30 M30
    Date: 2010–05–25
  6. By: Axel Dreher; Jan-Egbert Sturm; James Raymond Vreeland
    Abstract: We investigate whether elected members of the United Nations Security Council receive favorable treatment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), analyzing panel data on the level of conditionality attached to (a maximum of) 314 IMF arrangements with 101 countries over the period of 1992 to 2008. We find a negative relationship: Security Council members receive about 30 percent fewer conditions attached to the loans that they receive from the IMF. We conclude that conditionality is softer for these countries because the major shareholders of the IMF desire influence over the Security Council.
    Keywords: IMF, UN Security Council, Voting, Aid, Conditionality
    JEL: O19 O11 F35
    Date: 2010–06–24
  7. By: Eric Maskin (School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study)
    Date: 2009–12
  8. By: Kelley, Judith (Duke Sanford School of Public Policy)
    Abstract: This paper argues that success in the struggle for regional integration hinges foremost on the degree of heterogeneity among regional states. Regional organizations therefore must consider how to optimize their leverage to forge convergence that will foster agreement and cooperation. To do so, regional organizations can rely on inclusive designs that admit member states and then seek to mold their behavior ex post, or they can use exclusive designs that condition membership on ex ante changes in state behavior. This paper examines the success of these designs in using various ex ante versus ex post tools in soliciting cooperative behavior among regional states, arguing that ex ante tools generally have greater advantages. However, because the advantages vary by issue areas, regions may benefit from creating layers of institutions with different designs. Finally, even after admitting states, regional organizations have options for varying membership rules across different areas of cooperation. Drawing especially on the European experience, the paper considers these various forms of differentiated rules that organizations can use to forge cooperation among different groups of member states despite remaining differences.
    Keywords: Regional integration; international cooperation; membership rules
    JEL: F50 F53
    Date: 2010–06–01
  9. By: Fabien Lange (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Keleti Faculty of Economics - Budapest Tech); Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: The Shapley value is a central notion defining a rational way to share the total worth of a cooperative game among players. We address a general framework leading to applications to games with communication graphs, where the feasible coalitions form a poset whose all maximal chains have the same length. Considering a new way to define the symmetry among players, we propose an axiomatization of the Shapley value of these games. Borrowing ideas from electric networks theory, we show that our symmetry axiom and the efficiency axiom correspond to the two Kirchhoff's laws in the circuit associated to the Hasse diagram of feasible coalitions.
    Keywords: Regular set system; communication situation; regular game; Shapley value; Kirchhoff's laws.
    Date: 2009–11

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.