New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒08‒21
three papers chosen by

  1. District Magnitude and Representation of the Majority’s Preferences: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Popular and Parliamentary Votes By Marco Portmann; David Stadelmann; Reiner Eichenberger
  2. Effort in Nomination Contests: Evidence from Professional Soccer By Miklos-Thal, Jeanine; Ullrich, Hannes
  3. Mediation and Peace By Johannes Horner; Massimo Morelli; Francesco Squintani

  1. By: Marco Portmann; David Stadelmann; Reiner Eichenberger
    Abstract: Members of parliament have more effective incentives to cater for the majority’s preferences when they are elected in districts with few seats in parliament rather than in districts with many seats. We empirically investigate this hypothesis by matching voting behavior on legislative proposals of Swiss members of parliament with real referenda outcomes on the same issues for the years 1996 to 2008. This quasi-experimental data allows us to identify the impact of electoral systems through district magnitude on how members of parliament represent citizens’ preferences. We find systematic, statistically significant and economically relevant evidence that members of parliament from districts with few seats vote along the majority’s preferences.
    Keywords: Median Voter, Political Economy, Electoral Systems
    JEL: D72 D70 H00
    Date: 2010–08
  2. By: Miklos-Thal, Jeanine; Ullrich, Hannes
    Abstract: In most promotion and hiring situations several agents compete for a limited number of attractive positions, assigned on the basis of the agents' relative reputations. Economic theory predicts that agents' effort incentives in such contests depend non-monotonically on their anticipated winning chances, but empirical evidence is lacking. We use panel data to study soccer players' responses to the (informal) nomination contests for being on a national team participating in the 2008 Euro Cup. The control group consists of players who work for the same clubs but are nationals of countries that did not participate in the Euro Cup. We fi…nd that nomination contest participation has substantial positive effects on the performances of players with intermediate chances of being nominated for their national team. Players whose nomination is close to certain perform worse than otherwise, particularly in duels that carry a high injury risk. For players without any recent national team appearances, we fi…nd no signifi…cant effects.
    Keywords: effort incentives; contests; reputations; tournaments
    JEL: J44 D83 M51
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Johannes Horner (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Massimo Morelli (Columbia University & European University Institute); Francesco Squintani (Essex University)
    Abstract: This paper brings mechanism design to the study of conflict resolution in international relations. We determine when and how unmediated communication and mediation reduce the ex ante probability of conflict, in a simple game where conflict is due to asymmetric information. Unmediated communication helps reducing the chance of conflict as it allows conflicting parties to reveal their types and establish type-dependent transfers to avoid conflict. Mediation improves upon unmediated communication when the intensity of conflict is high, or when asymmetric information is large. The mediator improves upon unmediated communication by not precisely reporting information to conflicting parties, and precisely, by not revealing to a player with probability one that the opponent is weak. Surprisingly, in our set up, arbitrators who can enforce settlements are no more effective in reducing the probability of conflict than mediators who can only make non-binding recommendations.
    Keywords: Mediation, War and peace, Imperfect information, Communication games, Optimal mechanism
    JEL: C7
    Date: 2010–08

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