New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒01‒23
nine papers chosen by

  1. Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia By Ruben Enikolopov; Maria Petrova; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  2. Voting by Ballots and Feet in the Laboratory By Alessandro Innocenti; Chiara Rapallini
  3. Brazilian 2010 presidential election: psychometric scaling of voting intention By Isabel Marques; Rodrigo Peñaloza
  4. Endogenous growth in a model with heterogeneous agents and voting on public goods By Kirill Borissov; Alexander Surkov
  5. Immigration and voting on the size and the composition of public spending By Karin Mayr
  6. Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism By Markus Brückner; Hans Peter Grüner
  7. Networks and collective action By Ramón Jesús Flores Díaz; Maurice Koster; Ines Lindner; Elisenda Molina
  8. Politicians, Bureaucrats and Targeted Redistribution: The Role of Career Concerns By Ruben Enikolopov
  9. Beyond "position" and "valence". A unified framework for the analysis of political issues By Lorenzo De Sio

  1. By: Ruben Enikolopov (New Economic School (Moscow)); Maria Petrova (New Economic School (Moscow)); Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Paris School of Economics and New Economic School)
    Abstract: This paper compares electoral outcomes of 1999 parliamentary elections in Russia among geographical areas with differential access to the only independent from the government national TV channel. It was available to three-quarters of Russia’s population and its signal availability was idiosyncratic conditional on observables. Independent TV decreased aggregate vote for the government party by 8.9 percentage points, increased the combined vote for major opposition parties by 6.3 percentage points, and decreased turnout by 3.8 percentage points. The probability of voting for opposition parties increased for individuals who watched independent TV even controlling for voting intentions measured one month before elections.
    JEL: J0 D0 H0
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Alessandro Innocenti; Chiara Rapallini
    Abstract: This paper provides laboratory evidence on the efficiency-enhancing properties of the Tiebout model as a decentralized system of public goods provision. Tiebout (1956) shows that if a sufficient number of local communities exist to accommodate different types of preferences, individuals sort themselves in a way that provides an efficient allocation of public goods and taxes. Our experiment aims to disentangle the effect of voting participation and is composed of two treatments. In the non-participation treatment, local public good provision is chosen by only one subject, while the other members of the community can only stay in or move to another community. In the participation treatment, all the community members have the right to vote as well as to move to another community and collective decisions are taken by majority rule. Our findings show that social welfare is greater in the participation than in the non-participation treatment. We conclude that voting with one’s feet increases efficiency if all the community members vote and that the influence of voting participation on the allocation of local public goods should be taken into account to assess the viability of the Tiebout model.
    Keywords: Tiebout model, local public goods, voting participation, federalism, experiment.
    JEL: C91 H41 C92 D23
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: Isabel Marques (Confederação Nacional da Indústria (CNI)); Rodrigo Peñaloza (Departamento de Economia (Department of Economics) Faculdade de Economia, Administração, Contabilidade e Ciência da Informação e Documentação (FACE) (Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Information Science) Universidade de Brasília)
    Abstract: We apply the Thurstone method of unidimensional psychometric scaling to data sampled by CNI/IBOPE in three di¤erent periods before the Brazilian presidential election in 2010 regarding voting intention with respect to the main three candidates. Our results coincide with the overall rank of the candidates in each period and with the switch between the two main candidates in the last quarter before the election.
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Kirill Borissov; Alexander Surkov
    Abstract: We consider a Barro-type endogenous growth model in which the government's purchases of goods and services enter into the production function. The provision of government services is financed by flat-rate (linear) income or lump-sum taxes. It is assumed that individuals differing in their discount factors vote on the tax rates. We propose a concept of voting equilibrium leading to some versions of the median voter theorem for steady-state equilibria, fully characterize steady-state equilibria and show that if the median voter discount factor is sufficiently low, the long-run rate of growth in the case of flat-rate income taxation is higher than that in the case of lump-sum taxation.
    Keywords: economic growth, taxation, voting
    JEL: O40 D91 H21 H24 H31 P16
    Date: 2010–08–04
  5. By: Karin Mayr
    Abstract: This paper develops a model to analyze the effects of immigration by skill on the outcome of a majority vote among natives on both the size as well as the composition of public spending. Public spending can be of two types, spending on rival goods (transfers) and on non-rival goods (public goods). I find that relative preferences for the different types of public spending are crucial for the effects of immigration. In particular, immigrants of either skill can increase (decrease) the size of total public spending, if natives have a relative preference for spendingon public goods (spending on transfers). I provide some illustration of potential relative spending preferences in OECD countries using panel data for 1980 - 2010.
    JEL: F2 H4 H5
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Markus Brückner (School of Economics, University of Adelaide); Hans Peter Grüner (University of Mannheim and CEPR)
    Abstract: In many western democracies, political parties with extreme platforms challenge more moderate incumbents. This paper analyses the impact of economic growth on the support for extreme political platforms. We provide a theoretical argument in favor of growth effects (as opposed to level effects) on the support for extreme political parties and we empirically investigate the relationship between growth and extremist votes. Lower growth rates benet right-wing and nationalist parties, but do not have a robust positive eect on the support for communist parties. Our estimates indicate that extreme political platforms are unlikely to gain majorities in OECD countries, unless there is an extreme drop in the GDP per capita growth rate.
    Keywords: political regimes, political extremism, economic growth
    JEL: O40 O52 P16
    Date: 2011–01
  7. By: Ramón Jesús Flores Díaz; Maurice Koster; Ines Lindner; Elisenda Molina
    Abstract: Given a social network, we are interested in the problem of measuring the influence of a group of agents to lead the society to adopt their behavior. Motivated by the description of terrorist movements, we provide a markovian dynamical model for non-symmetric societies, which takes into account two special features: the hard core terrorist group cannot be influenced, and the remaining agents may change from active to non-active and vice versa during the process. In this setting, we interpret the absorption time of the model, which measures how quickly the terrorist movement achieve the support of all society, as a group measure of power. In some sense, our model generalizes the classical approach of DeGroot to consensus formation
    Keywords: Collective action, Social networks, Influence and Diffusion models
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Ruben Enikolopov (New Economic School (Moscow))
    Abstract: Stronger career concerns induce appointed bureaucrats to adopt different policies than elected politicians. In particular, bureaucrats are less likely to use targeted redistribution to achieve personal political goals. I use the example of patronage jobs in local governments in the United States to provide empirical support for this claim. I show that the number of full-time public employees is signi?cantly higher in local governments with elected chief executives. This difference increases during election years. In addition, consistent with the notion that career concerns are especially strong for young bureaucrats, I ?nd that the number of full-time public employees increases with the age of appointed chief executives. There is no such relationship in the case of elected chief executives.
    Date: 2010–09
  9. By: Lorenzo De Sio
    Abstract: Starting from a review of models of positional and valence issues, the paper – by tapping into the original definition of valence issue – introduces a classification of issues based on their level of overall, dychotomic agreement. This allows the placement of both positional and valence issues on a same continuum. A second dimension is then introduced, which identifies how much specific issues are over- or undersupported within a specific party. A visual classification of issues based on these two dimensions (the AP diagram) is then introduced, highlighting risks and opportunities for a party in campaigning on specific issues. Specific indicators (namely, issue yield) and hypotheses derived from the AP model are tested on survey data from the EU Profiler project, which collected issue profiles of Internet users from the 27 EU Countries before the EP 2009 Elections. The results show that the suggested dimensions and indicators identify a wide cross-country and cross-issue variance. Also, indicators generated by the AP model are powerful predictors of issue saliency, even subsuming traditional Downsean indicators.
    Keywords: political issues; valence; position; party competition; European elections
    Date: 2010–10–26

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