New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
seven papers chosen by

  1. Strategic voting and nomination By Green-Armytage, James
  2. A survival analysis of the circulation of the political elites governing Italy from 1861 to 1994. By Silvia Fedeli; Francesco Forte
  3. Lame Ducks and Divided Government: How Voters Control the Unaccountable By Schelker, Mark
  4. Political Mergers as Coalition Formation By Eric Weese
  5. A theoretical inquiry: Is European administration consensus-based? By Iancu, D.C.; Ungureanu, D.M.
  6. Measurement of consensus with a reference By José Carlos R. , Alcantud; Rocío, de Andrés; José Manuel, Cascón
  7. Lobbying for Education in a Two-sector Model. By Debora Di Gioacchino; Paola Profeta

  1. By: Green-Armytage, James
    Abstract: Using computer simulations based on three separate data generating processes, I estimate the fraction of elections in which sincere voting will be a core equilibrium given each of eight single-winner voting rules. Additionally, I determine how often each voting rule is vulnerable to simple voting strategies such as 'burying' and 'compromising', and how often each voting rule gives an incentive for non-winning candidates to enter or leave races. I find that Hare is least vulnerable to strategic voting in general, whereas Borda, Coombs, approval, and range are most vulnerable. I find that plurality is most vulnerable to compromising and strategic exit (which can both reinforce two-party systems), and that Borda is most vulnerable to strategic entry. I support my key results with analytical proofs.
    Keywords: strategic voting; tactical voting; strategic nomination; Condorcet; alternative vote; Borda count; approval voting
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2011–04–14
  2. By: Silvia Fedeli; Francesco Forte
    Abstract: We study the determinants of governments and legislatures’ survival in Italy from the unification to the end of the I Republic (1861-1994) - excluding the fascist period and the subsequent transitory institutional period, "Constituente" (1946-1948). We test whether institutional features such as electoral systems, form of State and extent of suffrage had any effect on the survival of legislatures and governments. We control for voting power of the parliamentary groups, number of parties represented in the parliament and size of the representative bodies. Unlike the political economy wisdom, we show that, over the whole period, governments and legislatures’ survivals are inversely related to the plurality electoral system. The restricted suffrage and a high voting power of the leading parties reduce the risk of anticipated end of governments. The survival of the legislatures is related to the form of state (republic) and to the voting power of the leading party.
    Keywords: Elites; Survival analysis; Electoral systems; Voting power, Political institutions.
    Date: 2011–04
  3. By: Schelker, Mark
    Abstract: The ability of voters to use the available electoral instruments is crucial for the functioning of democracies. The paper shows that voters consider the institutional environment when making electoral decisions. Voters recognize that executives who face binding term limits (i.e., “lame ducks”) have incentives to deviate from the preferences of voters because these politicians are not subject to reelection restrictions. This weakened accountability can be counterbalanced by an alternative mechanism known as divided government. By dividing government control between the executive and legislative branches, voters can force a lame duck to compromise on policies with an opposing legislature. Using a panel data analysis of the US states from 1975 to 2000, it is shown that the probability of divided government is 10-15 percent higher when governors are lame ducks. This effect remains robust and significant even after controlling for many relevant covariates. This result provides evidence of the considerable capacity of voters to process information and use alternative electoral instruments to control an otherwise unaccountable executive.
    Keywords: Divided government, lame duck, term limit, accountability
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Eric Weese (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: Political coalition formation games can describe the formation and dissolution of nations, as well as the creation of coalition governments, the establishment of political parties, and other similar phenomena. These games have been studied from a theoretical perspective, but the resulting models have not been used extensively in empirical work. This paper presents a method of estimating political coalition formation models with many-player coalitions, and then illustrates this method by estimating structural coefficients that describe the behaviour of municipalities during a recent set of municipal mergers in Japan. The method enables counterfactual analysis, which in the Japanese case shows that the national government could increase welfare via a counter-intuitive policy involving transfers to richer municipalities conditional on their participation in a merger.
    Keywords: computational techniques, coalitions, municipalities
    JEL: C63 D71 H77
    Date: 2011–03
  5. By: Iancu, D.C.; Ungureanu, D.M.
    Abstract: European Union has been consistently described as a democratic polity, although arguments on its failure have been thoroughly analyzed (Featherstone, 1994; Follesdal & Hix, 2006). A. Lijphart's book on patterns of democracy (1999), for instance, supports the idea that EU is built upon consensual democratic principles. In his view, EU's policy-making takes place in coalition cabinets, the executive is rather well balanced with the legislative and the Euro MPs, directly elected on proportionality basis cluster in different political groups, just as they do in a regular national multiparty system. Additionally, interest groups are represented in a corporatist manner, governance is multilayered, and the Court of Justice is a strong control factor for the European law making. All these characteristics point to the Lijphart's assumption that EU is in fact, consensus-based in its organization. If so, does the European administration fit to a similar consensus-based framing? What patterns of organization and functioning should the European administration follow in order to become consistent to consensualism? These two questions are to be addressed in this article. The aim set forward here is to: (1) develop a theoretical model for the consensus-based administration, (2) analyze the nature of the European administration, and (3) apply the consensus model to the European administration. The expected result is a comprehensive translation of the legal definition of the European administration to consensualism, one able to offer a reliable basis for further analyzing EU and its administrative developments. In fact, the article attempts to open a discussion on the true values of the so-called European Administrative Space, one that borrows quite a lot of features of the globally spread democratic administrations.
    Keywords: administrative principle; consensus democracy; European administration
    Date: 2011
  6. By: José Carlos R. , Alcantud; Rocío, de Andrés; José Manuel, Cascón
    Abstract: In this work we contribute to the formal analysis of the measurement of consensus in a society. Instead of approaching the topic from an absolute perspective we are concerned with a practical application: the proposal of a decision mechanism with respect to which consensus is measured. Surprisingly this produces a powerful unifying model, a restriction of which is deeply analysed. We also study the axiomatic properties of particular expressions for consensus with various salient social rules as a reference.
    Keywords: Consensus; coherence; measurement; Borda rule; Copeland rule
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2011–07–11
  7. By: Debora Di Gioacchino; Paola Profeta
    Abstract: Modern economies devote a relevant share of their resources to education. However, even among industrialised countries, there are differences in the traits of the education system and in its outcome in terms of human capital composition. The question we pose in this paper is why the composition of human capital is so diversied. The answer we propose is that the education system responds to the economy’s structure of production. Skills are required by firms according to their needs and are supplied through the education system. We analyse the political economy of education in a two-period model in which heterogeneous firms, specialised in two different sectors, try to induce the government to finance the type of education which is complementary to their production. In the first period, the policy-maker decides the skill composition of new-workers which will determine the supply of skills in the second period. Firms may lobby to obtain their preferred skill composition. We show that in the political equilibrium in which firms in both sectors get organised, the policy-maker chooses the same skill composition that would be chosen by the social planner. Moving to endogenous lobbying, we are able to show that, if there are no costs of lobbying, then both sectors will lobby in equilibrium. However, in the more realistic case in which if lobbying is costly it may be that only one sector will find it profitable to offer monetary contribution; which sector gets organised depends on sectors’ share in total output, relative productivity and prices of the two sectors.
    Keywords: Endogenous lobbying, human capital composition, structure of production.
    JEL: I2 D72
    Date: 2010–12

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