New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒01‒03
nine papers chosen by

  1. Electoral rules and voter turnout By Guglielmo Barone; Guido de Blasio
  2. Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes By Alberto Chong; Ana L. De La O; Dean Karlan; Leonard Wantchekon
  3. Central Banks’ Voting Records and Future Policy By Roman Horváth; Kateøina Šmídková; Jan Zápal
  4. Do Perceptions of Ballot Secrecy Influence Turnout? Results from a Field Experiment By Alan S. Gerber; Gregory A. Huber; David Doherty; Conor M. Dowling; Seth J. Hill
  5. Theory and practice of falsified elections By Kapustenko, Oleg
  6. Incumbency, Party Identity and Governmental Lead: Evidence for Heterogeneous Incumbency Effects for Germany By Florian Ade; Ronny Freier; Christian Odendahl
  7. Economic voting and economic revolutionizing? The economics of incumbency changes in European democracies and revolutionary events in the Arab World By Möller, Marie
  8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind:The Value of Political Connections in Social Networks By Quoc-Anh Do; Bang Dang Nguyen; Yen-Teik Lee; Kieu-Trang Nguyen
  9. Ensuring the boundedness of the core of games with restricted cooperation By Michel Grabisch

  1. By: Guglielmo Barone (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the effect of electoral rules on voter turnout. It focuses on Italian municipalities, where voting schemes are differentiated by the size of the city: a single ballot system applies to municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants, while a dual ballot system is in place above that threshold. By exploiting this discontinuity, the paper finds that the dual ballot increases participation at the local polls, with an estimated effect of about 1 percentage point. The increase in voter turnout is associated with wider political representation, politicians of higher quality, greater fiscal discipline, and more robust local development. Finally, we document that the higher political participation triggered by local electoral rules extends to nationwide voting contexts.
    Keywords: voter turnout, electoral systems, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D72 H73
    Date: 2011–11
  2. By: Alberto Chong; Ana L. De La O; Dean Karlan; Leonard Wantchekon
    Abstract: Does information about rampant political corruption increase electoral participation and the support for challenger parties? Democratic theory assumes that offering more information to voters will enhance electoral accountability. However, if there is consistent evidence suggesting that voters punish corrupt incumbents, it is unclear whether this translates into increased support for challengers and higher political participation. We provide experimental evidence that information about copious corruption not only decreases incumbent support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout, challengers' votes, and erodes voters' identification with the party of the corrupt incumbent. Our results suggest that while flows of information are necessary, they may be insufficient to improve political accountability, since voters may respond to information by withdrawing from the political process. We conclude with a discussion of the institutional contexts that could allow increased access to information to promote government accountability.
    JEL: H0
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: Roman Horváth (IES, Charles University Prague); Kateøina Šmídková (IES, Charles University Prague); Jan Zápal (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We assess whether the voting records of central bank boards are informative about future monetary policy. First, we specify a theoretical model of central bank board decision-making and simulate the voting outcomes. Three different versions of model are estimated with simulated data: 1) democratic, 2) consensual and 3) opportunistic. These versions differ in the degree of informational influence between the chairman and other board members influence prior to the voting. The model shows that the voting pattern is informative about future monetary policy provided that the signals about the optimal policy rate are noisy and that there is sufficient independence in voting across the board members, which is in line with the democratic version. Next, the model predictions are tested on real data on five inflation targeting countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Subject to various sensitivity tests, it is found that the democratic version of the model corresponds best to the real data and that in all countries the voting records are informative about future monetary policy, making a case for publishing the records.
    Keywords: monetary policy, voting record, transparency, collective decision-making.
    JEL: C78 D78 E52 E58
    Date: 2011–12
  4. By: Alan S. Gerber; Gregory A. Huber; David Doherty; Conor M. Dowling; Seth J. Hill
    Abstract: Although the secret ballot has long been secured as a legal matter in the United States, formal secrecy protections are not equivalent to convincing citizens that they may vote privately and without fear of reprisal. We present survey evidence that those who have not previously voted are particularly likely to voice doubts about the secrecy of the voting process. We then report results from a field experiment where we provided registered voters with information about ballot secrecy protections prior to the 2010 general election. We find that these letters increased turnout for registered citizens without records of previous turnout, but did not appear to influence the behavior of citizens who had previously voted. These results suggest that although the secret ballot is a long-standing institution in the United States, providing basic information about ballot secrecy can affect the decision to participate to an important degree.
    JEL: H0 H1 Z0
    Date: 2011–12
  5. By: Kapustenko, Oleg
    Abstract: An analysis of falsified election results is presented. A model of the falsification process is proposed and simulations are performed. The model fits well the data of the parliamentary elections in Russia on December 4, 2011. It is shown that the "noise" of false votes is well separated from the fair “signal”, which can be extracted with high statistical accuracy (less than l%) allowing quantitative reconstruction of the falsification patterns.
    Keywords: election; ballot stuffing; statistical analysis
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2011–12–23
  6. By: Florian Ade; Ronny Freier; Christian Odendahl
    Abstract: Do incumbents in an election have an advantage, and if so, are these advantages heterogeneous across parties or government and opposition? We first present a theoretical discussion on the possible heterogeneity of incumbency effects in a pure two-party system. Then, we estimate the incumbency effect for the direct district candidates in German federal and state elections using a regression discontinuity design (RDD). When studying the heterogeneity in these effects, we find that incumbents from both large parties, the center-right CDU and the center-left SPD, have an advantage only if the SPD is in government. This effect is robust and shows even in state elections that are unrelated to federal elections - calling into question the findings of average incumbency effects in the literature. Because this effect is stronger in the East than in the West and only shows post reunification, we hypothesise that the emergence of the socialist party "The Left" may be behind this heterogeneity.
    Keywords: incumbency advantage, regression discontinuity design, federal elections, state elections
    JEL: H10 H11 H77
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Möller, Marie
    Abstract: While people in democracies can vote their government out when they are discontent with its policies, those in dictatorships cannot do so. They can only attempt to expel the dictator via mass protests or revolutions. Based on a general cause-and-effect mechanism, the author analyzes whether such mass protests are more likely when the economic situation is poor and vote outs are more likely under bad economic conditions. The empirical analysis provides evidence of economic voting in the European democracies. On the other hand, the results for the Arab World show that economic revolutionizing does not occur there. For this reason, the economics of the Arab Spring are analyzed in greater detail. It can be concluded that bad policy is punished in democracies only. Therefore, by using positive analysis, the investigation demonstrates the malfunctioning of the political market in dictatorships. -- In diesem Aufsatz wird der Zusammenhang von Abwahl- bzw. Revolutionswahrscheinlichkeit und der ökonomischen Performance untersucht. Basierend auf einem allgemeinen Ursache-Wirkungs-Mechanismus werden die Thesen abgeleitet, dass eine schlechte ökonomische Performance zwar die Abwahlwahrscheinlichkeit erhöht, nicht jedoch die Revolutionswahrscheinlichkeit, da das Zustandekommen einer Revolution davon abhängt, ob das Kollektivgutproblem gelöst werden kann. Die empirische Analyse der europäischen Demokratien zeigt, dass eine schlechte ökonomische Performance vor einem Wahltermin häufiger mit einer Abwahl als mit einer Wiederwahl einhergeht. Die Untersuchung für Revolutionen und Aufstände in der arabischen Welt dagegen zeigt, dass dort kein solcher Zusammen-hang besteht, weshalb eine genauere Betrachtung der potentiellen ökonomischen Ursachen des arabischen Frühlings erfolgt. Ausgehend von der Annahme, dass die ökonomische Performance auch ein Maß für die Qualität der Regierungsarbeit ist, liefert die Analyse ein weiteres, nicht normatives Argument für die Überlegenheit von demokratischen Systemen gegenüber nicht-demokratischen, da schlechte Regierungsführung in letzeren nicht unmittelbar bestraft wird.
    Keywords: economic voting,revolutionary events,Arab Spring,political economy,political protest,degree of democracy,dictatorship,Revolution,Abwahl,Arabischer Frühling,Demokratie,Diktatur,Neue politische Ökonomie
    JEL: D72 H11 P0
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Quoc-Anh Do (School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore 178903); Bang Dang Nguyen (Finance and Accounting Group, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1AG, U.K); Yen-Teik Lee (Department of Finance, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, Singapore 178899); Kieu-Trang Nguyen (SPEA, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401, U.S.A)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of social-network connections to politicians on firm value. We focus on the networks of university classmates and alumni among directors of U.S. public firms and congressmen. Using the Regression Discontinuity Design based on close elections from 2000 to 2008, we identify that a director’s connection to an elected congressman causes a Weighted Average Treatment Effect on Cumulative Abnormal Returns of -2.65% surrounding the election date. The effect is robust and consistent through various specifications, parametric and nonparametric, with different outcome measures and social network definitions, and across many subsamples. We find evidence to support the hypothesis that firms benefit more when connected politicians remain in state politics than when they move to federal office. Overall, our study identifies the value of political connections through social networks and uncovers its variation across different states and between state and federal political environments.
    Keywords: Social network; political connection; close election; regression discontinuity design; firm value.
    JEL: D72 D73 D85 G3 G10 G11 G14 G30 C21
    Date: 2011–12
  9. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: The core of a cooperative game on a set of players $N$ is one of the most popular concepts of solution. When cooperation is restricted (feasible coalitions form a subcollection $\cF$ of $2^N$), the core may become unbounded, which makes its usage questionable in practice. Our proposal is to make the core bounded by turning some of the inequalities defining the core into equalities (additional efficiency constraints). We address the following mathematical problem: can we find a minimal set of inequalities in the core such that, if turned into equalities, the core becomes bounded? The new core obtained is called the restricted core. We completely solve the question when $\cF$ is a distributive lattice, introducing also the notion of restricted Weber set. We show that the case of regular set systems amounts more or less to the case of distributive lattices. We also study the case of weakly union-closed systems and give some results for the general case.
    Date: 2011

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