New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2010‒09‒11
ten papers chosen by

  1. Voting when the stakes are high By Gisle James Natvik; Jørgen Juel Andersen; Jon H. Fiva
  2. Electoral Competition with Uncertainty Averse Parties By Sophie Bade
  3. Voting and Information Aggregation in Parliamentary and Semi-Presidential Democracies By Izmirlioglu, Yusuf
  4. Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest By Harsman, Bjorn; Quigley, John M.
  5. A Dynamic Politico-Economic Model of Intergenerational Contracts By Lancia, Francesco; Russo, Alessia
  6. Coalitions and networks By Fox, Jonathan A
  7. Political Campaign Spending Limits By Ivan Pastine; Tuvana Pastine
  8. Multi-Profile Intergenerational Social Choice By Bossert, Walter; Suzumura, Kotaro
  9. Application of DEA to Voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame By Thomas Miceli; Brian Volz
  10. How (Not) To Decide: Procedural Games By Gani Aldashev; Georg Kirchsteiger; Alexander Sebald

  1. By: Gisle James Natvik (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Jørgen Juel Andersen (Norwegian School of Management); Jon H. Fiva (University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Rational choice theories of electoral participation stress that an individual's decision to vote depends on her expected net benefit from doing so. If this instrumental motive is relevant, then turnout should be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction, by studying how turnout is affected by exogenous variation in governments' financial exibility to provide pork for their voters. By utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on turnout.
    Keywords: Voter Motivation, Elections, Turnout
    JEL: D72 H71
    Date: 2010–08–30
  2. By: Sophie Bade (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: The nonexistence of equilibria in models of electoral competition involving multiple issues is one of the more puzzling results in political economics. In this paper, we relax the standard assumption that parties act as expected utility maximizers. We show that equilibria often exist when parties with limited knowledge about the electorate are modeled as uncertainty-averse. What is more, these equilibria can be characterized as a straightforward generalization of the classical median voter result.
    Keywords: Uncertainty Aversion, Multiple Priors, Median Voter, Electoral Competition over many Issues
    JEL: D81 D72
    Date: 2010–05
  3. By: Izmirlioglu, Yusuf
    Abstract: This paper investigates legislation in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies where the legislature and the president have formal role in legislation. A proposed law is first voted in the legislature and if it passes, comes to the consideration of the president. I study two prevalent legislative procedures: (i) Single-round legislation where the president's action is final, (ii) Two-round legislation the president's approval enacts the law but after his veto proposal returns to the legislature for rediscussion. In this setup I examine power balance and the efficiency of information aggregation. For this I build a model of strategic voting with incomplete information and analyze different ideological profiles of the president and the homogenous legislature. The president seems powerless in two-round legislation but in equilibrium there are instances he can change the legislation result. Power struggle arises only when the legislature is modernist and the president is conservative. If the legislature is conservative and the president is modernist, the president has no impact on the outcome, but adversely affects informational efficiency. If they have the same ideological bias, the presidential institution is beneficial and the president's existence provides full information aggregation with finite legislature size in single-round legislation. Above results can be generalized to heterogeneous legislature with two types, except full information aggregation is never achieved.
    Keywords: Voting; Information aggregation efficiency; Ideological bias; Power; Unicameral; Parliamentary; Semi-presidential; Democracy
    JEL: D78 D72 D82
    Date: 2010–02–18
  4. By: Harsman, Bjorn; Quigley, John M.
    Abstract: Studies of the “stated preferences†of households generally report public and political opposition by urban commuters to congestion pricing. It is thought that this opposition inhibits or precludes tolls and pricing systems that would enhance efficiency in the use of scarce roadways. This paper analyzes the only case in which road pricing was decided by a citizen referendum on the basis of experience with a specific pricing system. The city of Stockholm introduced a toll system for 7 months in 2006, after which citizens voted on its permanent adoption. We match precinct voting records to resident commute times and costs by traffic zone, and we analyze patterns of voting in response to economic and political incentives. We document political and ideological incentives for citizen choice, but we also find that the pattern of time savings and incremental costs exerts a powerful influence on voting behavior. In this instance, at least, citizen voters behave as if they value commute time highly. When they have experienced first-hand the out-of-pocket costs and time-savings of a specific pricing scheme, they are prepared to adopt freely policies that reduce congestion on urban motorways.
    Date: 2010–04–19
  5. By: Lancia, Francesco; Russo, Alessia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the conditions for the emergence of implicit intergenerational contracts without assuming reputation mechanisms, commitment technology and altruism. We present a tractable dynamic politico-economic model in OLG environment where politicians play Markovian strategies in a probabilistic voting environment, setting multidimensional political agenda. Both backward and forward intergenerational transfers, respectively in the form of pension benefits and higher education investments, are simultaneously considered in an endogenous human capital setting with labor income taxation. On the one hand, social security sustains investment in public education; on the other hand investment in education creates a dynamic linkage across periods through both human and physical capital driving the economy toward different Welfare State Regimes. Embedding a repeated-voting setup of electoral competition, we find that in a dynamic efficient economy both forward and backward intergenerational transfers simultaneously arise. The equilibrium allocation is education efficient, but, due to political overrepresentation of elderly agents, the electoral competition process induces overtaxation compared with a Benevolent Government solution with balanced welfare weights.
    Keywords: aging; Benevolent Government allocation; intergenerational redistribution; Markovian equilibria; repeated voting.
    JEL: E62 D71 H11 C61
    Date: 2010–07–26
  6. By: Fox, Jonathan A
    Abstract: Coalitions are partnerships among distinct actors that coordinate action in pursuit of shared goals. But what distinguishes them from other kinds of partnerships? The term is widely used to describe joint ventures in a wide range of arenas, most notably in international geopolitics or political party competition and governance. The literature on coalitions is dominated by discussions of war and peace, election campaigns, and parliamentary dynamics. Just as in war or politics, successful collective action in civil society often depends on the formation and survival of coalitions – insofar as the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
    Keywords: Globalization and Regulation, Social Movements
    Date: 2009–12–01
  7. By: Ivan Pastine (University College Dublin); Tuvana Pastine (Economics,Finance and Accounting National University of Ireland,)
    Abstract: Political campaign spending ceilings are purported to limit the incumbent’s ability to exploit his fundraising advantage. If the challenger does not have superior campaign effectiveness, in contrast to conventional wisdom, we show that the incumbent always benefits from a limit as long as he has an initial voter disposition advantage, however small and regardless of the candidates’ relative fundraising ability. If the challenger has higher campaign spending effectiveness, the effect of limits may be non-monotonic. If the incumbent enjoys a mild initial voter disposition advantage, a moderate limit benefits the challenger. Further restricting the limit favours the incumbent. Stricter limits may lead to the unintended consequence of increased expected spending.
    Keywords: Campaign Finance Legislation, Spending Cap, Expenditure Limit, Incumbency Advantage, Efficiency in Fundraising, Effectiveness of Campaign Spending, Initial Voter Disposition, All Pay Auction, Contest, Preferential Treatment Auction.
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Bossert, Walter; Suzumura, Kotaro
    Abstract: In an infinite-horizon setting, Ferejohn and Page showed that any social welfare function satisfying Arrow’s axioms and stationarity must be a dictatorship of the first generation. Packel strengthened this result by proving that no collective choice rule generating complete social preferences can satisfy unlimited domain, weak Pareto and stationarity. We prove that this impossibility survives under a domain restriction and without completeness. We propose a more suitable stationarity axiom and show that a social welfare function on a specific domain satisfies this modified version and some standard social choice axioms if and only if it is a chronological dictatorship
    Keywords: Multi-Profile Social Choice, Infinite-Horizon Intergenerational Choice, Lexicographic Dictatorships
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2010–08
  9. By: Thomas Miceli (University of Connecticut); Brian Volz (Assumption College)
    Abstract: This paper applies Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The approach interprets a player’s career statistics as inputs, and the percentage of votes he received for the HOF as the output. A constructed frontier based on past voting defines the maximum number of votes that a player should receive based on his statistical profile. Our results suggest that about a third of current members of the HOF (excluding Negro League players, managers, umpires, and executives) should be replaced by more deserving players. Our conclusions, however, do not account for those aspects of a player’s career (both positive and negative) not captured by statistics.
    Keywords: Baseball hall of fame; data envelopment analysis; production theory
    JEL: C44 D20 L83
    Date: 2010–08
  10. By: Gani Aldashev; Georg Kirchsteiger; Alexander Sebald
    Abstract: Psychologists and experimental economists …nd that peoples behavior is shaped not only by outcomes but also by the procedures through which these outcomes are reached. Using Psychological Game Theory we develop a general framework allowing players to be motivated by procedural concerns. We present two areas in which procedural concerns play a key role. First, we apply our framework to policy experiments and show that if subjects exhibit procedural concerns, the way in which researchers allocate subjects into treatment and control groups influences the experimental results. The estimate of the treatment e¤ect is always biased as compared to the e¤ect of a general introduction of the treatment. In our second application we analyze the problem of appointing agents into jobs that di¤er in terms of their desirability. Because of procedural concerns the principals choice of appointment procedure a¤ects the subsequent e¤ort choice of agents. We test this theoretical hypothesis in a …eld experiment. The results are consistent with our predictions.
    Keywords: Procedural concerns; Psychological game theory; Policy experiments; Appointment procedures
    JEL: A13 C70 C93 D63
    Date: 2010–08

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