New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒01‒10
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Optimal Districting with Endogenous Party Platforms By E Bracco
  2. It is Hobbes, not Rousseau: an experiment on voting and redistribution. By Cabrales, Antonio; Nagel, Rosemarie; Rodríguez Mora, José V.
  3. Voting under the threat of secession: accommodation vs. repression By Vincent Anesi; Philippe De Donder
  4. Inequality, Uncertainty, and Redistribution By Machado, Fabiana
  5. A spatial analysis of the Italian Second Republic, Second Version By Massimiliano Landi; Riccardo Pelizzo
  7. Scoring rules for judgment aggregation By Dietrich, Franz
  8. Implementation in adaptive better-response dynamics: Towards a general theory of bounded rationality in mechanisms. By Cabrales, Antonio; Serrano, Roberto
  9. Stochastically stable implementation. By Cabrales, Antonio; Serrano, Roberto
  10. A Unifying Impossibility Theorem By Priscilla Man; Shino Takayama
  11. Arab spring and reorganization of the state By Cizakca, Murat

  1. By: E Bracco
    Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of socially optimal districting in a legislative-election model with endogenous party platforms. We generalize the model of Coate and Knight (2007), allowing parties to strategically condition their platforms on the districting. The socially optimal districting re ects the ideological leaning of the population, so that parties internalize voters' preferences in their policy platforms. The optimal seat-vote curve is unbiased when voters are risk-neutral, and -contrary to previous findings-biased against the largest partisan group when voters are risk-averse. The model is then calibrated by an econometric analysis of the elections of U.S. State legislators during the 1990s.
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Cabrales, Antonio; Nagel, Rosemarie; Rodríguez Mora, José V.
    Abstract: We perform an experiment which provides a laboratory replica of some important features of the welfare state. In the experiment, all individuals in a group decide whether to make a costly effort, which produces a random (independent) outcome for each one of them. The group members then vote on whether to redistribute the resulting and commonly known total sum of earnings equally amongst themselves. This game has two equilibria, if played once. In one of them, all players make effort and there is little redistribution. In the other one, there is no effort and nothing
    Keywords: Redistribution; Political equilibrium; Voting; Multiple equilibria; Experiments;
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Vincent Anesi (University of Nottingham); Philippe De Donder (Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: We build a simple model of secession crises where a majority of voters may wish to accommodate the minority in order to prevent a secession attempt. We first show the existence of a majority voting equilibrium, where the median voter is decisive and most prefers a government’s type that is biased in favor of the minority. We then propose a measure of the secession risk at equilibrium and perform the comparative static analysis of the equilibrium policy location and of the secession risk with respect to several parameters: the cultural distinctiveness of the two regions, the relative weight attached by voters to economic (centripetal) -as opposed to (centrifugal) ideological- factors, the relative size of the minority region, the (exogenous) probability that a secession attempt is successful, and the intra-regional heterogeneity of preferences.
    Keywords: Majority voting, secession risk, cultural distinctiveness, conflict, overlapping regional preferences
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Machado, Fabiana
    Abstract: For centuries it has been believed that the extension of the franchise in unequal societies would lead to relatively high levels of redistribution. According to international rankings, how- ever, among the fourteen most unequal countries in the world, nine have been democratic for at least the past fourteen years. A prerequisite for the adoption of redistributive policies is that there be elected representatives who are either committed to or who have an incentive to advocate for such policies. The prospects of such an outcome depend not only on candidates personal policy preferences and motivations, but also how they are perceived by voters. One important feature shared by highly unequal democracies is that they tend to be relatively young, with many new parties and candidates in the political scene. This means elections occur under a high degree of uncertainty about critical information voters need to chose their delegates. Thus, in this paper I develop a model of elections as a game of incomplete information to explore how uncertainty, candidates’ motivation (policy vs. office), and beliefs about their ideological inclinations affect what policy interests are likely to be represented in the political process. I explore the model’s assumptions and outcomes empirically using individual level data for each presidential election in Brazil since democratization.
    Keywords: Elections; Redistribution; Inequality; Uncertainty
    JEL: D72 D80
    Date: 2011–09–11
  5. By: Massimiliano Landi (School of Economics, Singapore Management Unversity); Riccardo Pelizzo
    Abstract: We apply the Optimal Classification method to a newly created dataset to provide a spatial map of the Italian Second Republic (1996-2008). We find a bi-dimensional political space in the XIII Legislature and virtually a one dimensional political space in the XIV and XV Legislatures. In addition, the main dimension is explained along the dimension government opposition rather than on the traditional left and right dimension. During the Second Republic, Italy experienced changes in electoral system and in the format of the parties. We use our data to discuss the implications of either change on the dimensionality space. We find that the format of the party system was a more important determinant of the dimensionality of the political space than changes in the electoral system.
    Date: 2012–01
  6. By: Paulo Júlio (Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Employment)
    Abstract: This article illustrates and formalizes the conditions under which majority voting can lead to either delays or anticipations in public debt stabilizations. Under the assumptions of proportional taxation and universal public expenditures, we present an intertemporal version of the “Meltzer-Richard” result, which captures the difficulty of controlling increases in public expenditures. In the benchmark model delays are endogenous and have redistributive effects, but when a relatively rich minority makes the decisions, we may observe anticipation in public debt stabilization.
    Keywords: Stabilization delays, Economic adjustments, Economic reforms, Majority voting
    JEL: D72 E60
    Date: 2011–11
  7. By: Dietrich, Franz
    Abstract: This paper studies a class of judgment aggregation rules, to be called `scoring rules' after their famous counterpart in preference aggregation theory. A scoring rule delivers the collective judgments which reach the highest total `score' across the individuals, subject to the judgments having to be rational. Depending on how we define `scores', we obtain several (old and new) solutions to the judgment aggregation problem,such as distance-based aggregation, premise- and conclusion-based aggregation, truth-tracking rules, and a Borda-type rule. Scoring rules are shown to generalize the classical scoring rules of preference aggregation theory.
    Keywords: judgment aggregation; social choice; scoring rules; Hamming rule; Borda rule; premise- and conclusion-based rules
    JEL: D70 D71
    Date: 2011–12–26
  8. By: Cabrales, Antonio; Serrano, Roberto
    Abstract: We study the classic implementation problem under the behavioral assumption that agents myopically adjust their actions in the direction of better-responses or bestresponses. First, we show that a necessary condition for recurrent implementation in better-response dynamics (BRD) is a small variation of Maskin monotonicity, which we call quasimonotonicity. We also provide a mechanism for implementation in BRD if the rule is quasimonotonic and excludes worst alternatives – no worst alternative (NWA). Quasimonotonicity and NWA are both necessary and sufficient for absorbing implementation in BRD. Moreover, they characterize implementation in strict Nash equilibria. Under incomplete information, incentive compatibility is necessary for any kind of stable implementation in our sense, while Bayesian quasimonotonicity is necessary for recurrent implementation in interim BRD. Both conditions are also essentially sufficient for recurrent implementation, together with a Bayesian NWA. A characterization of implementation in strict Bayesian equilibria is also provided. Partial implementation results are also obtained.
    Keywords: Robust implementation; Bounded rationality; Evolutionary dynamics; Mechanisms;
    JEL: C72 D70 D78
    Date: 2011–03–21
  9. By: Cabrales, Antonio; Serrano, Roberto
    Abstract: Restricting attention to economic environments, we study implementation under perturbed better-response dynamics (BRD). A social choice function (SCF) is implementable in stochastically stable strategies of perturbed BRD whenever the only outcome supported by the stochastically stable strategies of the perturbed process is the outcome prescribed by the SCF. For uniform mistakes, we show that any ε-secure and strongly efficient SCF is implementable when there are at least five agents. Extensions to incomplete information environments are also obtained.
    Keywords: Robust implementation; Bounded rationality; Evolutionary dynamics; Mechanisms; Stochastic stability;
    JEL: C72 D70 D78
    Date: 2011–04–18
  10. By: Priscilla Man (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Shino Takayama (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper considers social choice correspondences assigning a choice set to each non-empty subset of social alternatives. We impose three requirements on these correspondences: unanimity, independence of preferences over infeasible alternatives and choice consistency with respect to choices out of all possible alternatives. With more than three social alternatives and the universal preference domain, any social choice correspondence that satisfies our requirements is serially dictatorial. A number of known impossibility theorems — including Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, the Muller-Satterthwaite Theorem and the impossibility theorem under strategic candidacy — follow as corollaries. Our new proof highlights the common logical underpinnings behind these theorems.
    Date: 2012–01–04
  11. By: Cizakca, Murat
    Abstract: This article assumes that within the next five years or so the bulk of the Islamic world will get rid of their dictators and aims to propose a blue print of governance for the newly emerging democracies.
    Keywords: Arab spring; Islam and democracy; Islam and economic development; rule of law; freedom of thought; secularism
    JEL: Z12 O53 O43 P50 P16
    Date: 2011–12–31

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