New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒07‒31
five papers chosen by

  1. The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: do government ideology and electoral motives matter? By Potrafke, Niklas
  2. Participatory Decision Making: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Votes By Vreeland, James; Spada, Paolo
  3. The political economy of infrastructure : the Spanish “parliamentary roads” (1880-1914) By Marta Curto-Grau; Alfonso Herranz-Loncán; Albert Solé-Ollé
  4. Guilbaud's 1952 theorem on the logical problem of aggregation. By Daniel Eckert; Bernard Monjardet
  5. Consensus theories : An oriented survey. By Olivier Hudry; Bernard Monjardet

  1. By: Potrafke, Niklas
    Abstract: This paper empirically evaluates whether government ideology and electoral motives influenced the growth of public health expenditures in 18 OECD countries over the 1971-2004 period. The results suggest that incumbents behaved opportunistically and increased the growth of public health expenditures in election years. Government ideology did not have an influence. These findings indicate (1) the importance of public health in policy debates before elections and (2) the political pressure towards re-organizing public health policy platforms especially in times of demographic change.
    Keywords: public health expenditures; health policies; government ideology; partisan politics; electoral cycles; panel data
    JEL: H51 I18 C23 D72
    Date: 2010–07–23
  2. By: Vreeland, James; Spada, Paolo
    Abstract: Many believe that deliberative democracy, where individuals discuss alternatives before voting on them, should result in collectively superior outcomes because voters become better informed and decisions are justified using reason. These deliberations typically involve a moderator, however, whose role has been under-examined. We conduct a field experiment to test the effects moderators may have. Participants in a class of 107 students voted on options over their writing and exam requirements. Before voting, they participated in group discussions of about five people each with one moderator. Some (randomly assigned) moderators remained neutral throughout, while others made limited interventions, supporting a specific option. We find a substantial moderator effect. Our experiment is structured like deliberations used world-wide to make community decisions and thus should have some external validity. The results indicate that if organized interest groups had influence over moderators, they might be able to hijack a deliberative decision-making process.
    Keywords: deliberative democracy; participatory decision making; interest group; manipulation; moderators; facilitators
    JEL: D70 C93
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Marta Curto-Grau (Departament d'Economia Política i Hisenda Pública; Universitat de Barcelona; Facultat d'Economia i Empresa -­‐ Av. Diagonal, 690 (08034 Barcelona).); Alfonso Herranz-Loncán (Departament d’Història i Institucions Econòmiques Universitat de Barcelona; Facultat d'Economia i Empresa -­‐ Av. Diagonal, 690 (08034 Barcelona).); Albert Solé-Ollé (Departament d'Economia Política i Hisenda Pública; Universitat de Barcelona; Facultat d'Economia i Empresa -­‐ Av. Diagonal, 690 (08034 Barcelona).)
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which the public allocation of road investment was influenced by political and electoral goals during the Spanish Restoration (1874-­‐1923). More precisely, we seek to identify those provinces that were favoured with higher road construction expenditure and whether tactical strategies adopted by the political parties varied over time to reflect increasing political competition. In so doing, this paper combines concepts from three strands of literature: legislative pork-­‐barrel; clientelism and machine politics; and electoral competition. Our main empirical finding for a panel of Spanish provinces between 1880 and 1914 suggests that constituencies electing a higher proportion of deputies from minority or opposition parties were initially punished through lower levels of road investment but that, by the end of the period, they were instead favoured with more resources than the rest. In addition, we also observe that senior deputies who had been ministers in previous administrations were more capable than other politicians of attracting resources to their constituencies.
    Keywords: road investment, distributive politics, electoral competition, vote buying
    JEL: H54 P16 D72
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Daniel Eckert (Institut Für Finanzwissenschaft - Universität Graz); Bernard Monjardet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne et CAMS-EHESS)
    Abstract: In a paper published in 1952, shortly after publication of Arrow's celebrated impossibility result, the French mathematicien Georges-Théodule Guilbaud has obtained a dictatorship result for the logical problem of aggregation, thus anticipating the literature on abstract aggregation theory and judgment aggregation. We reconstruct the proof of Guilbaud's theorem, which is also of technical interest, because it can be seen as the first use of ultrafilters in social choice theory.
    Keywords: Aggregation, judgment aggregation, logical connectives, simple game, ultrafilter.
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Olivier Hudry (Télécom ParisTech); Bernard Monjardet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne et CAMS-EHESS)
    Abstract: This article surveys seven directions of consensus theories : Arrowian results, federation consensus rules, metric consensus rules, tournament solutions, restricted domains, abstract consensus theories, algorithmic and complexity issues. This survey is oriented in the sense that it is mainly – but not exclusively – concentrated on the most significant results obtained, sometimes with other searchers, by a team of French searchers who are or were full or associate members of the Centre d'Analyse et de Mathématique Sociale (CAMS).
    Keywords: Consensus theories, Arrowian results, aggregation rules, metric consensus rules, median, tournament solutions, restricted domains, lower valuations, median semilattice, complexity.
    JEL: D71 C0
    Date: 2010–06

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.