New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒06‒18
nine papers chosen by

  1. Do Politicians’ Preferences Matter for Voters’ Voting Decisions? By Dahlberg, Matz; Mörk, Eva; Sorribas Navarro, Pilar
  2. Buying Votes and International Organizations By Axel Dreher; James Raymond Vreeland
  3. Immigration and voting on the size and the composition of public spending By Karin Mayr
  4. Electing Displacement: Political Cleansing in Apartadó, Colombia By Abbey Steele
  5. Outside Options in Probabilistic Coalition Situations By Julia Belau
  6. Alliance Formation and Coercion in Networks By Timo Hiller
  7. The dynamics of legitimation - Why the study of political legitimacy needs more realism By Daniel Gaus
  8. Electronic governance, premise for implementation of electronic democracy By Matei, Ani; Grigorovici, Iulia
  9. Inter and intra-group conflicts as a foundation for contest success functions By Pelosse, Yohan

  1. By: Dahlberg, Matz (Department of Economics); Mörk, Eva (Department of Economics); Sorribas Navarro, Pilar (Universitat de Barcelona and Institut d’Economia de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Using unique survey data that allows us to observe both voters’ and politicians’ preferences for local public spending as well as voting decisions, this paper tests if voters typically support parties in which the politicians’ preferences are closest to their own. Doing so would be rational for the voters to do if politicians’ preferences matter for policy outcomes, as is the case in e.g. the citizen-candidate model. It is found that this is indeed the case. This finding is in line with theoretical models such as the citizen-candidate model arguing that politicians cannot credibly commit to election platforms that differ from their true policy preferences.
    Keywords: Elections; voting; preferences for public services
    JEL: H71 P16
    Date: 2011–05–16
  2. By: Axel Dreher; James Raymond Vreeland
    Abstract: This study explores a basic idea in political economy: Trading money for political influence. Our focus is at the level of international institutions, where governments may exploit their influence in one organization to gain leverage over another. In particular, we consider the lending activities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and voting behavior at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Analyzing an original dataset on the successful and failed resolutions of the UNSC, we find evidence of vote-buying.
    Keywords: IMF, UN Security Council, Voting, Aid
    JEL: O19 O11 F35
    Date: 2011–05–18
  3. By: Karin Mayr (University of Vienna)
    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 the effect of immigration on public spending depends on preferences for the different types of spending. In particular, immigrants of either skill can increase (decrease) the size of total public spending, if natives have a relative preference for spending on public goods (spending on transfers). I provide some illustration of spending patterns in OECD countries during 1980 - 2010.
    Keywords: immigration, political economy, transfers, public goods
    JEL: F2 H4 H5
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Abbey Steele
    Abstract: This article highlights a nefarious effect of elections during civil wars by demonstrating that they can facilitate the displacement of civilians. This occurs through two main mechanisms: they reveal information about civilians' loyalties directly to armed groups; and they threaten the status quo of local elites' power, motivating them to ally with outside armed groups in order to regain it. Armed groups strategically displace civilians identified as "disloyal" in order to gain control over a territory. I test implications of the argument with original, micro-level quantitative and qualitative data from northwest Colombia. Using voter censuses and disaggregated electoral returns from 1991-1998, I show that residents in urban neighborhoods that supported the insurgent-backed political party, the Patriotic Union (UP), were more likely to leave the city of Apartadó than neighbors in other districts. However, residents of the nearby rural communities that supported the UP were the least likely to leave. I trace the patterns of violence across the communities using local archival materials and interviews to assess how well the argument accounts for the variation observed, and to explore the unexpected outcome in the rural area. While I find that counterinsurgents attempted strategic displacement in both the city and the mountains, they only succeeded in the urban areas because residents of the rural hamlets were uniquely able to overcome the collective action problem that strategic displacement generates. The findings demonstrate that that political identities are relevant for patterns of violence, and that political cleansing resembles ethnic cleansing.
    Date: 2011–03–08
  5. By: Julia Belau
    Abstract: In this paper, I introduce an extension of (TU) games with a coalition structure. Taking a situation where all coalitions are already established is not reasonable in order to forecast the reality; there is not only one possible coalition, there are several. I consider situations where coalitions are not established yet and take into account the likelihood of each possible coalition. This leads to a generalized, probabilistic setting for coalition structures. Probabilistic versions of known axioms are introduced as well as new probabilistic axioms. Generalizations of both the outside-option-sensitive chi-value (Casajus, Soc Choice Welf 32, 1-13, 2009) and its outside-option-insensitive pendant, the component restricted Shapley value (Aumann and Drèze, Int. J. Game Theory 3, 217-237, 1974), are defined and axiomatic characterizations are given.
    Keywords: TU game; coalition structure; outside option
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2011–01
  6. By: Timo Hiller (European University Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents a game-theoretic model of network formation, which allows agents to enter bilateral alliances and to extract payoffs from enemies. Each pair of agents creates a surplus of one, which allies divide in equal parts. If agents are enemies, then the agent with more allies obtains a larger share of the surplus. I show that Nash equilibria are of two types. First, a state of utopia, where all agents are allies. Second, asymmetric equilibria, such that agents can be partitioned into sets of different size, where agents within the same set are allies and agents in different sets are enemies. These results stand in contrast to coalition formation games in the economics of conflict literature, where stable group structures are generally symmetric. The model provides a game-theoretic foundation for structural balance, a long- standing notion in social psychology, which has been fruitfully applied to the study of alliance formation in international relations.
    Keywords: Network Formation, Economics of Conflict, Contest Success Function, Structural Balance, International Relations
    JEL: D86 D74
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Daniel Gaus
    Abstract: The paper suggests a practice turn in the analysis of political legitimacy. Current social science research on political legitimacy suffers twofold. First, it shows an undue (silent) impact of an ethics-first perspective. Second, empirical approaches to political legitimacy mostly focus on societal constellations of citizens’ beliefs. The dynamic character of political legitimacy as a concept referring to an ongoing societal practice of legitimation is missed. Understanding legitimacy in terms of legitimation practice suggests a broadened research agenda that a) reserves a greater role to hermeneutical approaches and that b) acknowledges the systematic relation of political theory, the sociology of knowledge and the history of ideas in that matter.
    Keywords: democracy; legitimacy; methodological issues; political science; normative political theory
    Date: 2011–05–15
  8. By: Matei, Ani; Grigorovici, Iulia
    Abstract: Living in a rapidly changing society, where information travels with great speed and its upgrade is essential, we decided to approach certain aspects of e-democracy, as a dynamic way of citizen participation, using new Information and Communications Technologies. The theme chosen for this research, Electronic governance, premise for implementation of electronic democracy, is a part of Electronic Administration field and identifies the meanings of implementing e-government and e-democracy, the necessity and effects of putting them into practice and the conditions to be fulfilled for the development of electronic services and fostering citizen participation in their use. E-governance as well as edemocracy have a clear contribution in making social progress, thanks to capitalize the most important irreversible resource, the time for achievement of the main administrative operations. The overall objective of the research aims to establish the relationship between governance and electronic democracy. From this perspective, this paper will contain: analyzing the importance of both e-governance and e-democracy, risks and benefits for each one, clarifying the need and implications underlying the implementation of electronic systems and explain the conditions to be met by citizens in order to benefit from these services. To achieve the objectives set, will be dominant the analyzing method of the social phenomena in their evolution. They will also combine harmoniously with practical examples in various member states of the European Union.
    Keywords: e-governance; e-democracy
    JEL: D73 L31 O32
    Date: 2011–05–05
  9. By: Pelosse, Yohan
    Abstract: This paper introduces a notion of partitioned correlated equilibrium that extends Aumann's correlated equilibrium concept (1974, 1987). This concept captures the non-cooperative interactions arising simultaneously within and between groups. We build on this notion in order to provide a foundation for contest success functions (CSFs) in a game wherein contests arise endogenously. Our solution concept and analysis are general enough to give a foundation for any model of contest using standard equilibrium concepts like e.g., Nash, Bayesian-Nash or Perfect-Nash equilibria. In our environment, popular CSFs can be interpreted as a list of equilibrium conjectures held by players whenever they contemplate deviating from the ``peaceful outcome'' of the ``group formation game''. Our setup allows to relate the form of prominent CSFs with some textbook examples of quasi-linear utility functions, social utility functions in the spirit of Fehr and Schmidt (1999) and non-expected models of utility a la Quiggin (1981, 1982). We also show that our framework can accommodate situations in which agents cannot correlate their actions.
    Keywords: Contest success functions; Correlated equilibrium; Inter and intra-group conflicts; Induced contests
    JEL: D74 C72
    Date: 2011

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