New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2011‒08‒02
nine papers chosen by

  1. Evaluating the Median Voter Model’s Explanatory Power By David Stadelmann; Marco Portmann; Reiner Eichenberger
  2. Parliaments as Condorcet Juries: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Representation of Majority Preferences By David Stadelmann; Reiner Eichenberger; Marco Portmann
  3. Political Legislation Cycle in the Czech Republic By Josef Brechler; Adam Gersl
  4. Time to Vote? By Gibson, John; Kim, Bonggeun; Stillman, Steven; Boe-Gibson, Geua
  5. Condorcet admissibility: Indeterminacy and path-dependence under majority voting on interconnected decisions By Nehring, Klaus; Pivato, Marcus; Puppe, Clemens
  6. Non-emptiness of the alpha-core By Martins-da-Rocha, Victor Filipe; Yannelis, Nicholas C.
  7. Electronic governance, premise for implementation of electronic democr acy By Grigorovici, Iulia; Matei, Ani
  8. Negotiating Political Spaces: Social and Environmental Activism in the Chinese Countryside By Maria Bondes
  9. An Anarchist's reflection on the political economy of everyday life By Boettke, Peter

  1. By: David Stadelmann; Marco Portmann; Reiner Eichenberger
    Abstract: We match individual senators’ voting behavior on legislative proposals with 24 real referenda decisions on exactly the same issues with identical wording. This setting allows us to evaluate the median voter model’s quality with revealed constituents’ preferences. Results indicate a limited explanatory power of the median voter model: It explains 17.6 percentage points more than random voting and a senator’s probability to accept a proposal in parliament increases on average by 8.4 percentage points when the district median voter accepts the proposal.
    Keywords: Median Voter Model; Political Representation; Constituents’ Preferences
    JEL: D7 H7
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: David Stadelmann; Reiner Eichenberger; Marco Portmann
    Abstract: In parliament, individual representatives vote with a certain probability according to their constituents’ preferences. Thus, the mechanism of the Condorcet Jury Theorem can be fruitfully applied to parliamentary representation: The probability that a majority of representatives votes according to the preferences of the majority of their constituents increases with the number of representatives per district. The political economy literature has so far disregarded this aspect. We provide a theoretical discussion and quasi-experimental evidence for the validity of the Condorcet Jury Theorem in parliamentary representation by contrasting unique data from parliamentary roll call votes and popular referenda decisions.
    Keywords: Condorcet Jury Theorem; Preference Aggregation; Voting Behavior; Legislature; Political Representation
    JEL: D78 D70 D80
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Josef Brechler (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Adam Gersl (Czech National Bank; Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: There is a wide range of theories that try to explain interactions between politics end economy that are referred as political cycles. Majority of these theories aims at analysis of changes in economic outcomes that are related to elections or other phenomena in the political reality. To induce at least some of these changes it is necessary to alter a country’s legislation which leads to emergence of political legislation cycles – changes in legislation activity over time in an electoral term. The aim of this paper is to study political legislation cycle in the legislative system of the Czech Republic. Obtained results suggest that elections timing has an impact on legislation activity. As electoral term matures and upcoming elections are getting closer an increase is observed in the legislation activity.
    Keywords: political business cycle, economic theory of legislation, voters
    JEL: H61 H62 C49
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Gibson, John (University of Waikato); Kim, Bonggeun (Seoul National University); Stillman, Steven (University of Otago); Boe-Gibson, Geua (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Despite the centrality of voting costs to the paradox of voting, little effort has been made to accurately measure these costs outside of a few spatially limited case studies. In this paper, we apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to validated national election survey data from New Zealand. We calculate distance and travel time by road from the place of residence to the nearest polling place and combine our time estimate with imputed wages for all sample members. Using this new measure of the opportunity cost of voting to predict turnout at the individual level, we find that small increases in the opportunity costs of time can have large effects in reducing voter turnout.
    Keywords: paradox of voting, opportunity cost, travel time
    JEL: D7 R4
    Date: 2011–07
  5. By: Nehring, Klaus; Pivato, Marcus; Puppe, Clemens
    Abstract: Judgement aggregation is a model of social choice where the space of social alternatives is the set of consistent evaluations (`views') on a family of logically interconnected propositions, or yes/no-issues. Unfortunately, simply complying with the majority opinion in each issue often yields a logically inconsistent collection of judgements. Thus, we consider the Condorcet set: the set of logically consistent views which agree with the majority in as many issues as possible. Any element of this set can be obtained through a process of diachronic judgement aggregation, where the evaluations of the individual issues are decided through a sequence of majority votes unfolding over time, with earlier decisions possibly imposing logical constraints on later decisions. Thus, for a fixed profile of votes, the ultimate social choice can depend on the order in which the issues are decided; this is called path dependence. We investigate the size and structure of the Condorcet set ---and hence the scope and severity of path-dependence ---for several important classes of judgement aggregation problems.
    Keywords: judgement aggregation; diachronic; path-dependence; indeterminacy; Condorcet; median rule; majoritarian
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2011–07–24
  6. By: Martins-da-Rocha, Victor Filipe; Yannelis, Nicholas C.
    Abstract: We prove non-emptiness of the alpha-core for balanced games with non-ordered preferences, extending and generalizing in several aspects the results of Scarf (1971), Border (1984), Florenzano (1989), Yannelis (1991) and Kajii (1992). In particular we answer an open question in Kajii (1992) regarding the applicability of the non-emptiness results to models with infinite dimensional strategy spaces. We provide two models with Knightian and voting preferences for which the results of Scarf (1971) and Kajii (1992) cannot be applied while our non-emptiness result applies.
    Date: 2011–05–06
  7. By: Grigorovici, Iulia; Matei, Ani
    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.
    Abstract: 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 e-democracy 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.
    Abstract: 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 Unio n.
    Keywords: electronic democracy; electronic governance
    Date: 2011–04–15
  8. By: Maria Bondes (GIGA Institute of Asian Studies)
    Abstract: The proliferation of social organizations in China has engendered a lively debate about how to conceptualize these social forces. This paper argues that such a conceptualization should take into account the role that both the party?state and social actors attribute to social organizations. With an empirical case study from the western Chinese countryside, this paper explores how social organizations both adapt to the restrictive authoritarian framework and negotiate the spaces opening up to society in the realms of environmental and social politics. The study shows that while the party?state understands organizations as consultants and partners in service provision, they have a deviating self?image with the Western concepts of “NGO” and “civil society” becoming increasingly relevant as frames of reference. While their practices remain within the limits imposed by the authoritarian framework, they impact policy formulation, local political participation, and the formation of social networks according to their own self?image as members of a budding Chinese civil society.
    Keywords: China, civil society, NGO, social organizations
    Date: 2011–07
  9. By: Boettke, Peter
    Abstract: James Scott has written a detailed ethnography on the lives of the peoples of upland Southeast Asia who choose to escape oppressive government by living at the edge of their civilization. To the political economist the fascinating story told by Scott provides useful narratives in need of analytical exposition. There remains in this work a “plea for mechanism”; the mechanisms that enable social cooperation to emerge among individuals living outside the realm of state control. Social cooperation outside the formal rules of governance, nevertheless require “rules” of social intercourse, and techniques of “enforcement” to ensure the disciplining of opportunistic behavior.
    Keywords: economic development; self-regulation; political economy; peasant economy
    JEL: O17 P48
    Date: 2011

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