New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒06‒04
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass By Bierbrauer, F.J.; Boyer, F.J.
  2. Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures By Aidt, T.S.; Shvets, J.
  3. Workers of the World, Unite! Franchise Extensions and the Threat of Revolution in Europe, 1820-1938 By Aidt, T.S.; Jensen, P.S.
  4. Mediation and Peace By Johannes Hoerner; Massimo Morelli; Francesco Squintani
  5. Sequential Contests with Synergy and Budget Constraints By Megidish, Reut; Sela, Aner
  6. Selection of Public Servants into Politics By Thomas Braendle; Alois Stutzer
  7. Internal Hierarchy and Stable Coalition Structures By Massimo Morelli; In-Uck Park
  8. Do Majority Black Districts Limit Blacks’ Representation? The Case of the 1990 Redistricting By Ebonya L. Washington
  9. Democracy, Market Liberalization and Political Preferences By Claudia Senik; Pauline Grosjean
  10. The Role of Proactive Adaptation in International Climate Change Mitigation Agreements By de Bruin, Kelly Chloe; Weikard, Hans-Peter; Dellink, Rob
  11. Democracy or videocracy? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the Italian political arena By Sabatini, Fabio

  1. By: Bierbrauer, F.J.; Boyer, F.J.
    Abstract: We study Downsian competition in a Mirrleesian model of income taxation. The competing politicians may dier in competence. If politicians engage in vote-share maximization, the less competent politician's policy proposals are attractive to the minority of rich agents, whereas those of the competent politician are attractive to the majority of poor agents. The less competent politician wins with positive probability, which gives rise to a political failure in the sense of Besley and Coate (1998). Political failures are avoided if politicians maximize winning probabilities. Nevertheless, the two equilibria cannot be Pareto-ranked, the minority may be better o under vote-share maximization.
    Keywords: Electoral Competition; Non-linear Income Taxation; Candidate Quality
    JEL: C72 D72 H21
    Date: 2011–01–26
  2. By: Aidt, T.S.; Shvets, J.
    Abstract: We study the effect of electoral incentives on the allocation of public services across legislative districts. We develop a model in which elections encourage individual legislators to cater to parochial interests and thus aggravate the common pool problem. Using unique data from seven US states, we study how the amount of funding that a legislator channels to his district changes when he faces a term limit. We find that legislators bring less state funds to their district when they cannot run for re-election. Consistent with the Law of 1/N, this tendency is less pronounced in states with many legislative districts.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2011–03–24
  3. By: Aidt, T.S.; Jensen, P.S.
    Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that the extension of the voting franchise was caused by the threat of revolution, as suggested by Acemoglu and Robinson [Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 1167-1199, 2000]. We approximate the threat of revolution in a given country by revolutionary events happening in neighboring countries. We investigate the relationship between this new measure of the threat of revolution and measures of su¤rage reform in two samples of European countries covering the period from 1820 to 1938. We ?nd strong support for the 'threat of revolution theory'. We also ?nd some evidence that war triggered suffrage reform, whereas other theories of the extension of the franchise, including 'modernization theory', receive little support.
    Keywords: The extension of the voting franchise, democracy, threat of revolution, suffrage
    JEL: D7 P16
    Date: 2011–01–26
  4. By: Johannes Hoerner; Massimo Morelli; Francesco Squintani
    Abstract: This paper applies mechanism design to conict resolution. We determine when and how unmediated communication and mediation reduce the ex ante probability of conflict in a game with asymmetric information. Mediation improves upon unmediated communication when the intensity of conict is high, or when asymmetric information is significant. 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. Arbitrators who can enforce settlements are no more effective than mediators who only make non-binding recommendations.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Megidish, Reut; Sela, Aner
    Abstract: We study a sequential Tullock contest with two stages and two identical prizes. The players compete for one prize in each stage and each player may win either one or two prizes. The players have either decreasing or increasing marginal values for the prizes, which are commonly known, and there is a constraint on the total effort that each player can exert in both stages. We analyze the players' allocations of efforts along both stages when the budget constraints (effort constraints) are either restrictive, nonrestrictive or partially restrictive. We show that when the players are either symmetric or asymmetric and the budget constraints are restrictive, independent of the players' values for the prizes, each player allocates his effort equally along both stages of the contest.
    Keywords: budget constraints; sequential contests; Tullock contests
    JEL: D44 O31 O32
    Date: 2011–05
  6. By: Thomas Braendle; Alois Stutzer (University of Basel)
    Keywords: Political selection, public servants, incompatibility, political representation, corruption, government consumption
    JEL: D72 K39
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Massimo Morelli; In-Uck Park
    Abstract: When an agent decides whether to join a coalition or not, she must consider both i) the expected strength of the coalition and ii) her position in the vertical structure within the coalition. We establish that there exists a positive relationship between the degree of inequality in remuneration across ranks within coalitions and the number of coalitions to be formed. When coalition size is unrestricted, in all stable systems the endogenous coalitions must be mixed and balanced in terms of members' abilities, with no segregation. When coalitions must have a fixed finite size, stable systems display segregation by clusters while maintaining the aforesaid feature within clusters.
    Keywords: Stable Systems, Abilities, Hierarchy, Cyclic Partition
    JEL: C71 D71
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Ebonya L. Washington
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom and empirical academic research conclude that majority Black districts decrease Black representation by increasing conservatism in Congress. However, this research generally suffers from three limitations: 1) too low a level of aggregation; 2) lack of a counterfactual and 3) failure to account for the endogeneity of the creation of majority minority districts. I compare congressional delegations of states that during the 1990 redistricting were under greater pressure to create majority minority districts with those under lesser pressure in a difference-in-difference framework. I find no evidence that the creation of majority minority districts leads to more conservative House delegations. In fact point estimates indicate that states that increased their share of majority Black districts saw their delegations grow increasingly liberal. I find similar results for majority Latino districts in the southwest. Thus I find no evidence for the common view that majority minority districts decrease minority representation in Congress.
    JEL: D72 J15 K0
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: Claudia Senik (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, Université Paris-Sorbonne - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche); Pauline Grosjean (UC BERKELEY - Berkeley University of California - UC Berkeley)
    Abstract: This paper questions the conventional wisdom concerning the sequencing of political and economic reforms in developing countries. We exploit the specific situation of frontier-zones as well as the considerable regional variations in culture and economic development in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. We estimate the impact of market development and democratization on subjective political preferences. Taking advantage of a new survey conducted in 2006 by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank in 28 post-transition countries, we find a positive and significant effect of democracy on support for a market economy, but no effect of market liberalization on support for democracy. Our results are robust to the use of various indices of market liberalization and democracy and alternative measures of political preferences.
    Keywords: market and democracy ; political preferences ; spatial regression discontinuity ; transition economies
    Date: 2011–02
  10. By: de Bruin, Kelly Chloe (CERE, Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics); Weikard, Hans-Peter (Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group); Dellink, Rob (Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of proactive adaptation in international mitigation coalition formation. Adaptation is introduced into a three stage cartel game of coalition formation. We analytically derive the optimal level of mitigation and proactive adaptation for the singletons and coalition members. We introduce the AD-STACO model which is constructed based on the STACO model, which is an applied three-stage cartel formation model with 12 heterogenous regions. Simulating all possible coalitions (4084) and checking for internal and external stability, we investigate how different levels of proactive adaptation will affect the payoffs in Grand coalition and the incentives to freeride. We examine which stable coalitions are found with different levels of proactive adaptation and whether regions can gain from overadaptation in the best performing stable coalition. We find that though payoffs increase in the Grand coalition with lower adaptation, incentives to leave increase. Coalition members can increase their payoffs through overadaptation.
    Keywords: N/A
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2011–05–27
  11. By: Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature by carrying out the first econometric investigation into the role of television in the formation of political consensus in Italy. Based on probit and instrumental variables estimates, we find trust in television to be the most significant predictor of trust in the Italian prime minister. The latter is also strongly and negatively correlated with trust in the judicial system and tolerance towards immigrants.
    Keywords: trust; institutions; democracy; television; media; social capital; Italy; instrumental variables
    JEL: L82 Z13 D72 D83
    Date: 2011–05–25

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