New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒01‒16
seven papers chosen by

  1. Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters Are Ideological By Antonio Merlo; Aureo de Paula
  2. Politicians' Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery By Manuel Bagues; Berta Esteve-Volart
  3. It’s the weather, stupid! Individual participation in collective May Day demonstrations By Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter
  4. Two-agent Nash implementation with partially-honest agents: Almost Full Characterizations By Lombardi, Michele
  5. Kosher Pork By Allan Drazen; Ethan Ilzetzki
  6. Splitting Games: Nash Equilibrium and the Optimisation Problem By Ana Paula Martins
  7. On a Consensus Measure in a Group Multi-Criteria Decision Making Problem. By Michele Fedrizzi

  1. By: Antonio Merlo (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Aureo de Paula (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper studies the nonparametric identification and estimation of voters' preferences when voters are ideological. We build on the methods introduced by Degan and Merlo (2009) representing elections as Voronoi tessellations of the ideological space. We exploit the properties of this geometric structure to establish that voter preference distributions and other parameters of interest can be identified from aggregate electoral data. We also show that these objects can be consistently estimated using the methodology proposed by Ai and Chen (2003) and we illustrate our analysis by performing an actual estimation using data from the 1999 European Parliament elections.
    Keywords: Voting, Voronoi tessellation,identification, nonparametric
    JEL: D72 C14
    Date: 2010–12–31
  2. By: Manuel Bagues; Berta Esteve-Volart
    Abstract: It is well known that incumbent politicians tend to receive more votes when economic conditions are good. In this paper we explore the source of this correlation, exploiting the exceptional evidence provided by the Spanish Christmas Lottery. This is a unique lottery: 75% of Spaniards play, sharing tickets, and every year at Christmas 0.3% of the Spanish GDP is at stake. Because winning tickets are mostly sold by one lottery outlet, winners tend to be geographically clustered. These features allow us to study the impact of exogenous good economic conditions on voting behavior. We find that incumbents receive significantly more votes in winning provinces. Given that individuals are well aware of the random nature of the shock, it is unlikely that this effect is due to voters wrongly attributing economic conditions to the government. Moreover, information from surveys from the same period shows that Christmas Lottery prizes increase the propensity to vote for the incumbent, but they do not affect respondents' assessment of the government. The evidence is consistent with a temporary increase in happiness making voters more lenient toward the incumbent, or with a stronger preference for the status quo.
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter
    Abstract: We investigate the possible explanations of variations in aggregate levels of participation in large-scale political demonstrations. A simple public choice inspired model is applied to data derived from the annual May Day demonstrations of the Danish labour movement and socialist parties taking place in Copenhagen in the period 1980-2009. The most important explanatory variables are variations in the weather conditions. Political and socio-economic conditions exhibit few or no robust effects.
    Keywords: Collective action; demonstrations; free-riding; public choice; rationality
    JEL: P36 H41 H23 P16 D70 A13 H11 J51 D74 D72 D61
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Lombardi, Michele
    Abstract: In a two-agent society with partially-honest agents, we extend Dutta and Sen (2009)'s results of Nash implementation to the domain of weak orders. We identify the class of Nash implementable social choice correspondences with a "gap" between necessary and sufficient conditions, both when exactly one agent is partially-honest and when both agents are partially-honest. We also show that, on the domain of linear orders, the "gap" between our conditions gets closed and they become equivalent to those devised by Dutta and Sen. New implementing mechanisms are devised. In line with earlier works, the classic condition of monotonicity is no longer required, whereas a weak version of the standard punishment condition is required even when both agents are known to be partially-honest. We derive simpler sufficient conditions that are satisfied in a wide range of applications.
    Keywords: Two-agent Nash implementation; intrinsic preferences for honesty; permissive results
    JEL: D71 C72
    Date: 2010–12–22
  5. By: Allan Drazen; Ethan Ilzetzki
    Abstract: Both conventional wisdom and leading academic research view pork barrel spending as antithetical to responsible policymaking in times of crisis. In this paper we present an alternative view. When agents are heterogeneous in their ideology and in their information about the economic situation, allocation of pork may enable passage of legislation appropriate to a "crisis" that might otherwise not pass. Pork "greases the legislative wheels" not by bribing legislators to accept legislation they view as harmful, but by conveying information about the necessity of policy change, where it may be impossible to convey such information in the absence of pork. Pork may be used for this function in situations where all legislators would agree to forgo pork under full information. Moreover, pork will be observed when the public good is most valuable precisely because it is valuable and the informed agenda setter wants to convey this information.
    JEL: D72 E62 H40
    Date: 2011–01
  6. By: Ana Paula Martins
    Abstract: This research states the stylised n (more than two) players’ splitting problem as a mathematical programme, relying on definitions of the values of the game and problem stationarity to generate tractable reduced forms, and derives the known solutions according to the properties of pertaining first-order conditions. On the one hand, boundary constraints are taken into consideration, required by the most general formulation possible with respect to the controls. On the other, distinction between FOC’s of optimizing behavior and equilibrium fitness is provided. Finally, the formal proof of the internal insufficiency of the usual approach to determine the equilibrium is advanced, and the imposing additional conditions – affecting cross multipliers - required for model solving forwarded and interpreted. Two different types of protocols (sets of rules of the game) were staged: alternate offers and synchronized ones. Perfect information (and foresight) of the players, infinite horizon, and offers exchange restricted to infinite-term settlements are always assumed. Each player makes a proposition of the division among the n participants. Periodic “outside” alternatives may differ according to whose offer is being analysed, and from those accruing to the players when none is forwarded. The alternate offers protocol is a generalization of the Rubinstein’s structure. At each round of negotiations, one and only one player, exogenously determined, can make an – the – offer. An agent must conciliate – and solve consistently – as many optimization problems as eventual proponents there are in the game.
    Keywords: Non-Cooperative N-Person Games, Infinite Horizon, Mixed Strategy Games, Mixed Strategies under Perfect Information Games, Simultaneous Sequential Bargaining, Matching Equilibrium under Sequential Bargaining, Synchronous (Decisions) Equilibrium under Sequential Bargaining, Mechanism Design, Bargaining Protocols, Dynamic Programming, Stationary Problems (without State Variables).
    JEL: C72 C78 C44 H56 D74 D31 C61 C62
    Date: 2010–08–10
  7. By: Michele Fedrizzi
    Abstract: A method for consensus measuring in a group decision problem is presented for the multiple criteria case. The decision process is supposed to be carried out according to Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process, and hence using pairwise comparison among the alternatives. Using a suitable distance between the experts' judgements, a scale transformation is proposed which allows a fuzzy interpretation of the problem and the definition of a consensus measure by means of fuzzy tools as linguistic quantifiers. Sufficient conditions on the expert's judgements are finally presented, which guarantee any a priori fixed consensus level to be reached.
    Keywords: group decision making; multiple criteria; degree of consensus; fuzzy preferences
    JEL: D70 D81 C63
    Date: 2010–12

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