New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒07‒27
six papers chosen by

  1. Politics and the geographic allocation of public funds in a semi-democracy: The case of Ghana, 1996-2004. By André, Pierre; Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine
  2. How Experts Decide: Identifying Preferences versus Signals from Policy Decisions By Stephen Hansen; Michael McMahon
  3. "Where Ignorance is Bliss, 'tis Folly to be Wise": Transparency in Contests By Denter, Philipp; Morgan, John; Sisak, Dana
  4. The allocation between the EU member states of the seats in the European Parliament Cambridge Compromise By Geoffrey Grimmett; Jean-François Laslier; Friedrich Pukelsheim; Victoriano Ramirez Gonzalez; Richard Rose; Wojciech Slomczynski; Martin Zachariasen; Karol Życzkowski
  5. Smallholder Farmers and Collective Action: What Determines the Intensity of Participation? By Fischer, Elisabeth; Qaim, Matin
  6. The Ordinary Legislative Procedure as a Transversal Vector for the Administrative Convergence in the European Union By Ciora, Cristina

  1. By: André, Pierre; Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine
    Abstract: The body of literature on purely democratic countries can sometimes fail to explain the behavior of government in semi-democratic African countries. Empirical and theoretical political economic papers and that public funds target ruling party supporters and swing districts. Our results, however, suggest that the opposite was true of Ghana. We observe that pro-government districts received less public investment when the NDC was in power. We posit that this nding is partially driven by the government's will to curry favor with opposition politicians. Indeed, in addition to pursuing its electoral objectives, the government of an emerging democracy may fear political instability and keep the lid on potential unrest by bargaining with opposition leaders. Our analysis also shows that, when controlling for votes and other covariates (including wealth, urbanization and density), public goods allocation is not driven by ethnic group targeting either. --
    Keywords: Public goods,Elections,Politics,Ghana
    JEL: D72 O55 R53
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Stephen Hansen; Michael McMahon
    Abstract: A large theoretical literature assumes that experts di ffer in terms of preferences and the distribution of their private signals, but the empirical literature to date has not separately identi ed them. This paper proposes a novel way of doing so by relating the probability a member chooses a particular policy decision to the prior belief that it is correct. We then apply this methodology to study diff erences between internal and external members on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Using a variety of proxies for the prior, we provide evidence that they di ffer significantly on both dimensions.
    Keywords: Bayesian decision making, committees, monetary policy
    JEL: D81 D82 E52
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Denter, Philipp; Morgan, John; Sisak, Dana
    Abstract: Increasingly, lobbying groups are subject to transparency requirements, obliging them to provide detailed information about their business. We study the effect this transparency policy has on the nature of lobbying competition. Under mild conditions, mandated transparency leads to an increase in wastefulness of lobbying competition and a decline in expected allocative efficiency. Hence we identify a negative side-effect of transparency policy, which also has implications for various other fields such as political campaigning or firm competition.
    Keywords: Transparency Policy, Rent-seeking Contests, Information Disclosure, Value of Ignorance
    JEL: D72 D82 L12
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Geoffrey Grimmett (Centre for Mathematical Sciences - University of Cambridge); Jean-François Laslier (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Friedrich Pukelsheim (Institut for Mathematik - Universität Augsburg); Victoriano Ramirez Gonzalez (Departement Matematica Aplicada - Universidad de Grenada); Richard Rose (Electrical and Computer Engineering Department - McGill University); Wojciech Slomczynski (Jagrellonian University - Jagrellonian University); Martin Zachariasen (Department of Computer Sciences DIKU - University of Copenhagen); Karol Życzkowski (Centrum Fizyki Teoretycznej - Polska Akademia Nauk, Institute of Physics - Jagiellonian University)
    Abstract: This Note contains the recommendation for a mathematical basis for the apportionment of the seats in the European Parliament between the Member States of the European Union. This is the unanimous recommendation of the Participants in the Cambridge Apportionment Meeting, held at the instigation of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, on 28-29 January 2011.
    Keywords: Proportional Representation, degressive proportionality, apportionment, European Parliament. Classification
    Date: 2011–07–20
  5. By: Fischer, Elisabeth; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Collective action has become an important strategy for smallholders in developing countries to remain competitive in rapidly changing markets. However, within farmer groups, the commitment of individual members can vary, as the expected net benefits are not the same for all individuals, and opportunities to free-ride exist. Since the benefits of collective action emerge primarily through the exploitation of economies of scale, low participation rates in joint activities may put a serious threat to the success and viability of farmer groups. This article investigates determinants of smallholder participation intensity and free-riding, using the example of banana groups in Kenya. The results suggest that family labor availability and previous benefits that members received through the groups positively influence their intensity of participation in group meetings and collective marketing. Free-riding can mostly be attributed to structural and institutional conditions, such as group size and the timing of payments. More diversified farmers are less likely to sell collectively. Since smallholders are often highly diversified in their agricultural activities, farmer groups should also diversify, focusing on more than a single crop. Further policy implications are discussed. --
    Keywords: collective action,participation intensity,smallholder farmers,Kenya
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Ciora, Cristina
    Abstract: Mainly approached from a sectoral point of view, the process of administrative convergence is first and foremost structurally supported by the European procedures governing the European decision-making process. The paper argues that the ordinary legislative procedure itself has acted as a transversal vector of the administrative convergence process both on the formal and informal levels. The ordinary legislative procedure provides very sophisticated tools that contribute throughout the whole cycle of a legislative proposal to the administrative convergence. The impact assessments and the compliance tests with the Charter of Fundamental Rights including the right to a good administration ensures ex ante that the draft legislative proposals meet the basic requirements for a good administrative final act. On an institutional level, the active national experts defending their interests in various structures of the Council of the EU have the possibility to add real national value to each European piece of legislation and thus to play the part of convergence agents. At the same time, the interplay of the European institutions within the framework of the ordinary legislative procedure, formerly known as the codecision procedure, had triggered sophisticated strategies that also directly contributed to the administrative convergence in the European Union. It is in this realm, on the basis of some concrete examples, through the analysis of some tools provided by the ordinary legislative procedure that the paper shows how the rules underlying the very creation of the EU law have horizontally contributed to the process of European administrative convergence.
    Keywords: ordinary legislative procedure; Administrative Convergence
    Date: 2011

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