New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒07‒13
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Extreme voting under proportional representation: the multidimensional case. By De Sinopoli, Francesco; Iannantuoni, Giovanna
  2. Moderating Government By Francesco De Sinopoli; Leo Ferraris; Giovanna Iannantuoni
  3. On the superiority of approval vs plurality: a counterexample By Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni
  4. Variable-population voting rules By Pivato, Marcus
  5. Inequality Aversion and Voting on Redistribution By Wolfgang Hoechtl; Rupert Sausgruber; Jean-Robert Tyran
  6. Information transmission in coalitional voting games. By Serrano, Roberto; Vohra, Rajiv
  7. Konkordanz, Divided Government, und die Möglichkeit von Reformen By Kirchgässner, Gebhard
  8. Interim efficient mechanisms for a public decision making in a discrete framework. By Pérez-Nievas, Mikel
  9. Voting over Selective Immigration Policies with Immigration Aversion By Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez; Giuseppe Russo
  10. Two-ballot versus plurality rule: an empirical investigation on the number of candidates By Carlos Eduardo S. Gonçalves; Ricardo A. Madeira; Mauro Rodrigues
  11. Length of Compulsory Education and Voter Turnout - Evidence from a Staged Reform By Panu Pelkonen
  12. When Do Groups Perform Better than Individuals? A Company Takeover Experiment By M. Casari; J. Zhang; C. Jackson

  1. By: De Sinopoli, Francesco; Iannantuoni, Giovanna
    Abstract: We study the strategic behavior of voters in a model of proportional representation, in which the policy space is multidimensional. Our main finding is that in large electorate, under some assumptions on voters' preferences, voters essentially vote, in any equilibrium, only for the extreme parties.
  2. By: Francesco De Sinopoli (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Leo Ferraris (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Giovanna Iannantuoni (University of Milano-Bicocca)
    Abstract: We consider a model where policy motivated citizens vote in two simultaneous elections, one for the President who is elected by majority rule, in a single national district, and one for the Congressmen, each of whom is elected by majority rule in a local district. The policy to be implemented depends not only on who is elected President but also on the composition of the Congress. We characterize the equilibria of the model using a conditional sincerity concept that takes into account the possibility that some voters may be simultaneously decisive in both elections. Such a concept emerges naturally in a model with trembles. A crucial feature of the solution is the moderation of Government.
    Keywords: voting, proportional rule, majority, parliament.
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2011–06
  3. By: Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni
    Abstract: We present a simple voting environment where the Condorcet winner exists. Under plurality rule, the derived game has a stable set where such a candidate is elected with probability one. However, no stable set of the approval game elects the Condorcet winner with positive probability.
    Keywords: Approval voting, Plurality voting, Sophisticated voting,Mertens Stability.
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Pivato, Marcus
    Abstract: Let X be a set of social alternatives, and let V be a set of `votes' or `signals'. (We do not assume any structure on X or V). A `variable population voting rule' F takes any number of anonymous votes drawn from V as input, and produces a nonempty subset of X as output. The rule F satisfies `reinforcement' if, whenever two disjoint sets of voters independently select some subset Y of X, the union of these two sets will also select Y. We show that F satisfies reinforcement if and only if F is a `balance rule'. If F satisfies a form of neutrality, then F is satisfies reinforcement if and only if F is a scoring rule (with scores taking values in an abstract linearly ordered abelian group R); this generalizes a result of Myerson (1995). We also discuss the sense in which the balance or scoring representation of F is unique. Finally, we provide a characterization of two scoring rules: `formally utilitarian' voting and `range voting'. a
    Keywords: reinforcement; scoring rule; balance rule; linearly ordered abelian group; formal utilitarian; range voting
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2011–06–28
  5. By: Wolfgang Hoechtl; Rupert Sausgruber; Jean-Robert Tyran
    Abstract: Mounting evidence shows that there is heterogeneity in aversion to inequality, i.e. that some people have a concern for a fair distribution. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair voters are pivotal. Pivotality, in turn, depends on the structure of income classes. We experimentally study voting on redistribution between two income classes and show that the effects of inequality aversion are asymmetric. Inequality aversion is more likely to matter if the “rich” are in majority. With a “poor” majority, we find that redistribution outcomes look as if all voters were exclusively motivated by their pocketbook.
    Keywords: redistribution, self interest, inequality aversion, median voter, experiment
    JEL: A13 C9 D72
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Serrano, Roberto; Vohra, Rajiv
    Abstract: A core allocation of a complete information economy can be characterized as one that would not be unanimously rejected in favor of another feasible alternative by any coalition. We use this test of coalitional voting in an incomplete information environment to formalize a notion of resilience. Since information transmission is implicit in the Bayesian equilibria of such voting games, this approach makes it possible to derive core concepts in which the transmission of information among members of a coalition is endogenous. Our results lend support to the credible core of Dutta and Vohra [4] and the core proposed by Myerson [11] as two that can be justified in terms of coalitional voting
  7. By: Kirchgässner, Gebhard
    Abstract: In Switzerland, political concordance or direct popular rights and the resulting consociational democracy are often held responsible for delay or even cancellation of necessary political reforms. Switzerland is, however, not the only country with such a system, and direct democracy is just one out of several mechanisms fostering political concordance. Moreover, as the examples of the United States and Germany show, a concordant political system might show up even if the government does not reflect this. Thus, we first describe different manifestations of political concordance. Then, we ask for institutional preconditions for successful political reforms before the situations in Switzerland and Germany are discussed more detailed. The experience of both countries shows that political concordance is not per se destructive for political reforms, it can even be conductive. This very much depends on the concrete institutional design of political concordance.
    Keywords: Political Concordance, Consociational Democracy, Divided Government, Economic and Political Reforms, Westminster-System, Germany, Switzerland
    JEL: H11
    Date: 2011–07
  8. By: Pérez-Nievas, Mikel
    Abstract: In this paper. I characterize the set of Bayesian incentive compatible anonymous mechanisms in a discrete public good problem when preferences are private information. With this result in hand, I characterize the set of interim incentive efficient mechanisms as voting schemes in which votes are weighted according to the tax paid by each agent.
    Keywords: Public goods; Voting mechanisms; Interim efficiency;
  9. By: Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez (University of Salamanca); Giuseppe Russo (University of Salerno and CSEF)
    Abstract: Selective immigration policies set lower barriers to entry for skilled workers. However, simple economic intuition suggests that skilled majorities should welcome unskilled immigrants and protect skilled natives. This paper studies the voting over a selective policy in a two-country, three-factor model with skilled and unskilled labor, endogenous migration decisions, costly border enforcement and aversion to immigration. Results show that heterogeneity in capital distribution forces skilled voters to form a coalition with unskilled voters, who become pivotal. The voting outcome is therefore biased towards the preferences of the latter, and consists in a selective protectionism. Finally, immigration aversion helps to explain why skilled majorities do not bring down entry barriers against unskilled workers.
    Keywords: selective immigration policies, multidimensional voting, cultural preferences, Condorcet winner
    JEL: D72 F22 J18
    Date: 2011–07–05
  10. By: Carlos Eduardo S. Gonçalves (Universidade de São Paulo); Ricardo A. Madeira (Universidade de São Paulo); Mauro Rodrigues (Universidade de São Paulo)
    Abstract: Duverger claimed more than 50 years ago that the number of candidates in elections should be a function of electoral rules. Both his “law” and “hypothesis” suggest the number of candidates vying for seats in elections to be tightly linked to characteristics of the electoral process such as its degree of proportionality and the presence of runoffs. Here we test the validity of Duverger’s claim using data from municipal elections in Brazil. Our study differs from others in the field in two important dimensions. First, by using municipal data we avoid the usual problems that plague statistical analysis using cross-country data. Secondly, we have a truly exogenous source of variation due to a change in electoral legislation introduced by the constitutional reform of 1988: simple plurality remained the rule only in municipalities with less than 200,000 voters, and a second-ballot became mandatory for the others above that threshold. This allows for a neat identification strategy using panel data. Our main finding is that elections with runoffs lure greater numbers of candidates in municipalities with sufficiently high levels of heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Duverger's law, runoff, heterogeneity
    JEL: D70 D72
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Panu Pelkonen
    Abstract: In this study, a long-term impact of additional schooling at the lower end of the educational distribution is measured on voter turnout. Schooling is instrumented with a staged Norwegian school reform, which increased minimum attainment by two years - from seven to nine. The impact is measured at two levels: individual, and municipality level. Both levels of analysis suggest that the additional education has no effect on the turnout rates. At the individual level, the impact of education is also tested on various measures of civic outcomes. Of these, only the likelihood of signing a petition is positively affected by education.
    Keywords: Education, Externalities, Voting, School reform
    JEL: H23 I21
    Date: 2009–09
  12. By: M. Casari; J. Zhang; C. Jackson
    Abstract: It is still an open question when groups will perform better than individuals in intellectual tasks. We report that in a company takeover experiment, groups placed better bids than individuals and substantially reduced the winner’s curse. This improvement was mostly due to peer pressure over the minority opinion and to group learning. Learning took place from interacting and negotiating consensus with others, not simply from observing their bids. When there was disagreement within a group, what prevailed was not the best proposal but the one of the majority. Groups underperformed with respect to a “truth wins” benchmark although they outperformed individuals deciding in isolation.
    JEL: C91 C92 D81
    Date: 2011–06

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.