nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒02‒26
ten papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Information and Strategic Voting By Marcelo Tyszler; Arthur Schram
  2. The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward It By Berggren, Niclas; Jordahl, Henrik; Poutvaara, Panu
  3. An axiomatization of success. By M.Josune Albizuri; Annick Laruelle
  4. Preferences, actions and voting rules. By Alaitz Artabe; Annick Laruelle; Federico Valenciano
  5. An Experimental Test of a Collective Search Model By Yoichi Hizen; Keisuke Kawata; Masaru Sasaki
  6. Punching above One's Weight: The Case against Election Campaigns By Marco A. Haan; Bart Los; Sander Onderstal; Yohanes E. Riyanto
  7. Diversity and the Power of the Elites inDemocraticSocieties: A Model and a Test. By Oriana Bandiera; Gilat Levy
  8. Population Aging, the Composition of Government Spending,and Endogenous Economic Growth in Politico-Economic Equilibrium By Kuehnel, Johanna
  9. The importance of electoral rule: Evidence from Italy By Massimo Bordignon; Andrea Monticini
  10. The Politicians' Wage Gap: Insights from German Members of Parliament By Peichl, Andreas; Pestel, Nico; Siegloch, Sebastian

  1. By: Marcelo Tyszler (University of Amsterdam); Arthur Schram (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We theoretically and experimentally study voter behavior in a setting characterized by plurality rule and mandatory voting, where voters choose from three options. We are interested in the occurrence of strategic voting in an environment where Condorcet cycles may occur. In particular, we focus on how information about the distribution of preferences affects strategic behavior. We also vary the relative importance of the second preferred option to investigate how this affects the strategic vote. Quantal response equilibrium analysis is used to analyze the game and proves to be a good predictor for the experimental data. Our results indeed show that strategic voting arises, the extent of which depends on (i) the availability of information; (ii) the relative importance of the intermediate candidate; (iii) the electorate's relative support for one's preferred candidate; and (iv) the relative position of the plurality-supported candidate in a voter's preference ordering. Our results show that information serves as a coordination device where strategic voting does not harm the plurality-preferred candidate's chances of winning.
    Keywords: Voting Behavior; Experimental Economics; Quantal Response Equilibrium
    JEL: C92 D72 D83
    Date: 2011–02–10
  2. By: Berggren, Niclas (Ratio Institute); Jordahl, Henrik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics); Poutvaara, Panu (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Previous research has established that good-looking political candidates win more votes. We extend this line of research by examining differences between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Our study combines data on personal votes in real elections with a web survey in which 2,513 non-Finnish respondents evaluated the facial appearance of 1,357 Finnish political candidates. We find that political candidates on the right are better looking in both municipal and parliamentary elections and that they have a larger beauty premium in municipal, but not in parliamentary, elections. As municipal candidates are relatively unknown, the beauty-premium gap indicates that voters – especially those to the right – use beauty as a cue for candidate ideology or quality in the municipal elections.
    Keywords: beauty, elections, political candidates, appearance, ideology, parties
    JEL: D72 J45 J70
    Date: 2011–02
  3. By: M.Josune Albizuri (UPV/EHU); Annick Laruelle (UPV/EHU)
    Abstract: In this paper we give an axiomatic characterization of three fami- lies of measures of success de…ned by Laruelle and Valenciano (2005) for voting rules
    Keywords: power indices, voting power, collective decision-making, axiomatization
    Date: 2011–02–17
  4. By: Alaitz Artabe (UPV/EHU); Annick Laruelle (UPV/EHU and Ikerbasque); Federico Valenciano (UPV/EHU)
    Abstract: In this paper we address several issues related to collective dichotomous decision-making by means of quaternary voting rules, i.e., when voters may choose between four actions: voting yes, voting no, abstaining and not turning up-which are aggregated by a voting rule into a dichotomous decision: accep- tance or rejection of a proposal. In particular we study the links between the actions and preferences of the actors. We show that quaternary rules (unlike binary rules, where only two actions -yes or no- are possible) leave room for “manipulability” (i.e., strategic behaviour). Thus a preference pro…le does not in general determine an action pro…le. We also deal with the notions of success and decisiveness and their ex ante assessment for quaternary voting rules, and discuss the role of information and coordination in this context.
    Date: 2011–02–17
  5. By: Yoichi Hizen (Hokkaido University); Keisuke Kawata (Osaka University); Masaru Sasaki (Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper's objectives are to design laboratory experiments of finite and infinite sequen- tial collective search models and to test some implications obtained in the model of Albrecht, Anderson and Vroman (2010) (the AAV model). We find that, compared with single-agent search, the average search duration is longer in collective search with the unanimity rule, but it is shorter in the case of collective search in which at least one vote is needed to stop searching. In addition, according to estimates from round-based search decisions, subjects are more likely to vote to stop searching in collective search than in single-agent search. This confirms that agents are less picky in the case of collective search. Overall, the experimental outcomes are consistent with the implications suggested by the AAV model. However, a different outcome is obtained from the AAV model in terms of the size order of the probabilities of voting to stop searching in collective search for the various plurality voting rules.
    Keywords: experiment, collective search, voting rule.
    JEL: C91 D83
    Date: 2011–02
  6. By: Marco A. Haan (University of Groningen); Bart Los (University of Groningen); Sander Onderstal (University of Amsterdam); Yohanes E. Riyanto (Nanyang Technological University Singapore)
    Abstract: Politicians differ in their ability to implement some policy. In an election, candidates make commitments regarding the plans they will try to implement if elected. These serve as a signal of true ability. In equilibrium, candidates make overambitious promises. The candidate with the highest ability wins. Yet, the electorate may be better off having a random candidate implement her best plan, rather than seeing the winner implementing an overambitious plan. This is more likely if the ability distribution is skewed toward high values, the number of candidates is high, with private benefits from being elected, or if parties select candidates.
    Keywords: election promises; signalling
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2010–06–10
  7. By: Oriana Bandiera; Gilat Levy
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether political outcomes in local democracies are determinedby the preferences of the median - typically poor - agents or whether they reflect thewishes of the wealthy elites. A model shows that when politicians belonging todifferent groups can form coalitions, the wealthy elites' influence on policy choices isendogenously higher when there is diversity in preferences among the poor. In linewith the theoretical predictions, the pattern of public good provision by localgovernments in Indonesia reveals that when individuals have different preferences— here due to different ethnicities — democratic policy outcomes are closer to thepreferences of the elites, rather than the preferences of the poor majority.
    Date: 2010–08
  8. By: Kuehnel, Johanna
    Abstract: This paper introduces a democratic voting process into an OLG economy in order to analyze the effects of a rising old-age dependency ratio on the composition of government spending and endogenous economic growth. Forward-looking agents vote each period on the public policy mix between productive government expenditure and public consumption spending that benefits the elderly. Population aging shifts political power from the young to the old. While this does not affect public productive expenditure, it leads to an increase in public spending on the elderly and a slowdown in economic growth. However, the overall effect on long-term economic growth is positive. This is due to reduced capital dilution or increased saving.
    Keywords: Demographics; Endogenous Economic Growth; Government Spending; Markov Perfect Equilibrium; Probabilistic Voting
    JEL: D72 E62 O41
    Date: 2011–02–17
  9. By: Massimo Bordignon (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Andrea Monticini (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: We employ bootstrap methods (Efron (1979)) to test the eect of an important electoral reform implemented in Italy from 1993 to 2001, that moved the system for electing the Par- liament from purely proportional to plurality rule (for 75% of the seats). We do not nd any eect on either the number of parties or the stability of governments (the two main objectives of the reform) that remained unchanged at their pre-reform level.
    Keywords: Electoral system; Plurality rule; Duverger's law; Bootstrap.
    JEL: H7
    Date: 2011–01
  10. By: Peichl, Andreas (IZA); Pestel, Nico (IZA); Siegloch, Sebastian (IZA)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset of German members of parliament with information on total earnings including outside income, this paper analyzes the politicians’ wage gap (PWG). After controlling for observable characteristics as well as accounting for selection into politics, we find a positive PWG which is statistically and economically significant. It amounts to 40-60% compared to citizens with an executive position. Hence, we show that the widely held claim that politicians would earn more in the private sector is not confirmed by our data. Our findings are robust with respect to potential unobserved confounders. We further show that the PWG exceeds campaigning costs and cannot be justified by extraordinary workload. Hence, our results suggest that part of the PWG can be interpreted as rent extraction. This calls for a reform of the regulation of outside earnings, which account for a sizeable share of the wage premium.
    Keywords: politicians' wage gap, descriptive representation, citizen-candidate model, political rents, outside earnings
    JEL: D72 H11 H83 J31 J45
    Date: 2011–02

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