New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒01‒25
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Divergent Platforms By Sophie Bade
  2. Election cycles in MPs' outside interests? The UK House of Commons, 2005-2010 By Geys, Benny
  3. Aspirations of the middle class: Voting on redistribution and status concerns By Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian
  4. Coalition Formation and Agenda Setting in EU Environmental Policy after the Enlargement By Cesar Garcia Perez de Leon
  5. Redistribution and the cultural transmission of the taste for fairness By Gilles Le Garrec;
  6. Multi-Player Agents in Cooperative TU-Games By Rene van den Brink; Chris Dietz
  7. Agreement Theory and Consensus By Candeal, Juan Carlos; Induráin, Esteban; Molina, José Alberto
  8. Turnout and the modeling of economic conditions: Evidence from Portuguese elections By Rodrigo Martins; Francisco José Veiga
  9. Strategic aspects of fighting in alliances By Konrad, Kai A.
  10. Evolutionarily stable in-group favoritism and out-group spite in intergroup conflict By Kai A. Konrad; Florian Morath
  11. "A Characterization of the Plurality Rule" By Yohei Sekiguchi

  1. By: Sophie Bade (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: A robust feature of models of electoral competition between two opportunistic, purely office-motivated parties is that both parties become indistinguishable in equilibrium. I this short note, I show that this strong connection between the office motivation of parties and their equilibrium choice of identical platforms depends on the following two - possibly counterfactual - assumptions: 1. Issue spaces are uni-dimensional and 2. Parties are unitary actors whose preferences can be represented by expected utility functions. The main goal here is to provide an example of a two-party model in which parties offer substantially different platforms in equilibrium even though no exogenous asymmetries are assumed. In this example, some voters’ preferences over the 2-dimensional issue space are assumed to exhibit non-convexities and parties evaluate their actions with respect to a set of beliefs on the electorate.
    Keywords: Downs model, Games with Incomplete Preferences, Knightian Uncertainty, Uncertainty Aversion, Platform Divergence
    JEL: D81 D72 C79
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Geys, Benny
    Abstract: Politicians often implement popular changes in public policies prior to elections, with the aim of improving their Election Day outcome. This research note evaluates whether such electioneering carries over also into politicians' extra-parliamentary activities. Evidence from the UK House of Commons over the period 2005-2010 suggests adjustments do occur in MPs' outside activities over the election cycle. The safety of the politicians' seat and his/her decision to stand for re-election play an important mediating role. --
    Keywords: Outside interests,election cycles,House of Commons
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of narrowly selfish and other-regarding preferences for the median voter in a Meltzer-Richard (1981) framework. We use computerized and real human co-players to distinguish between these sets of motivations. Redistribution to real co-players has a negative effect on the median voter's tax rate choice. Further, perceived income mobility decreases the desired amount of redistribution. Our results suggest the importance of concerns about own mobility as well as status concerns of the median voter who tends to keep distance to the low-income group, whereas inequity aversion does not play a role in the political economy context. --
    Keywords: Redistribution,other-regarding preferences,median voter,experiments
    JEL: C91 D03 D72 D78 H20
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Cesar Garcia Perez de Leon
    Abstract: The eastern enlargement of the EU has greatly increased the heterogeneity in the configuration of preferences of European member states. This scenario was expected to significantly difficult the capacity of the legislative process to take decisions. However, the decision-making in the EU has shown a remarkable capacity of adaptation in the face of the entrance of new members. This article argues that this adaptation is indeed normal. I introduce a mixed model of coalitional bargaining and agenda setting which explains legislative decision making in the face of preference heterogeneity. The model shows how coalition formation incorporates the preference variations infused by new member states in surplus winning coalitions adopting moderate compromises and how the intervention of a supranational EP influences the final decision towards more advanced legislation. The application of the model to the area of environmental policy shows that under the conditions of preference heterogeneity of the enlargement context, the EU legislative process is likely to generate legislation at medium levels of policy change, appeasing the risk for deadlock but also restraining the introduction of more integrationist legislation.
    Keywords: enlargement; environmental policy
    Date: 2011–12–31
  5. By: Gilles Le Garrec (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques); (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: Departing from mainstream economics, surveys ?rst show that individ- uals do care about fairness in their demand for redistribution. They also show that the cultural environment in which individuals grow up a¤ects their preferences about redistribution. Including these two components of the demand for redistribution, we propose in this article a mechanism of cultural transmission of the taste for fairness. Consistently with the process of socialization, the young preferences depend on collective choices through observation and imitation. Observation during childhood of redistributive policies far from what is perceived as fair results then in a lower taste for fairness. As a consequence, the model exhibits a multiplicity of history- dependent steady states which may account for the huge di¤erence of redis- tribution observed between Europe and the United States.
    Keywords: redistribution, voting behavior, fairness, endogenous preferences
    JEL: H53 D72 D64
    Date: 2011–12
  6. By: Rene van den Brink (VU University Amsterdam); Chris Dietz (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: A situation in which a finite set of agents can generate certain payoffs by cooperation can be described by a cooperative game with transferable utility (or simply a TU-game) where each agent is represented by one player in the game. In this paper, we assume that one agent can be represented by more than one player. We introduce two solutions for this multi-player agent game model, both being generalizations of the Shapley value for TU-games. The first is the agent-Shapley value and considers the agents in the most unified way in the sense that when an agent enters a coalition then it enters with all its players. The second is the player-Shapley value which takes all players as units, and the payoff of an agent is the sum of the payoffs over all its players. We provide axiomatic characterizations of these two solutions that differ only in a collusion neutrality axiom. The agent-Shapley value satisfies player collusion neutrality stating that collusion of two players belonging to the same agent does not change the payoff of this agent. On the other hand, the player-Shapley value satisfies agent collusion neutrality stating that after a collusion of two agents, the sum of their payoffs does not change. After axiomatizing the player- and agent-Shapley values we apply them to airport games and voting games.
    Keywords: Cooperative TU-game; Shapley value; multi-player agent; collusion neutrality; airport games
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2012–01–02
  7. By: Candeal, Juan Carlos (University of Zaragoza); Induráin, Esteban (Universidad Pública de Navarra); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: In order to formalize the act of agreement between two individuals, the concept of consensus functional equation, for a bi-variate map defined on an abstract choice set, is introduced. Then, and in a purely choice-theoretical framework, we relate the solutions of this equation to the notion of a rationalizable agreement rule. Finally, some results about the specific functional form of the solutions of the consensus functional equation in the setup of monetary payoffs and lotteries, over two outcomes, are also shown.
    Keywords: consensus equation, rationalizable agreement rules
    JEL: C60 D63
    Date: 2011–12
  8. By: Rodrigo Martins (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra); Francisco José Veiga (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of economic conditions on voter turnout at Portuguese legislative and municipal elections. We use four extensive datasets to estimate an economic turnout model in which local economic variables are included in quadratic form, so that non-linear effects can be taken into account. The first two datasets cover all mainland municipalities (currently 278), from 1979 to 2005. The other two are cross-sections of all 4037 mainland freguesias, used to analyze the determinants of turnout at the 2001 municipal elections and at the 2002 legislative elections. Empirical results indicate that the performance of the national economy is important only in legislative elections and that, in accordance with our expectations, the regional and local unemployment rates tend to have a non-linear relationship with turnout.
    Keywords: Turnout, Local governments, Elections, Portugal, Economic conditions
    JEL: D72 H7
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Konrad, Kai A.
    Abstract: This paper surveys some of the strategic aspects that emerge if players fight in an alliance against an enemy. The survey includes the free-rider problem and the hold-up problem that emerges in the baseline model, the role of supermodularity in alliance members' effort contributions, the role of budget constraints, the role of information transfer inside the alliance, and the role of in-group favoritism. --
    Keywords: Alliances,contests,conflict,in-group favoritism
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Kai A. Konrad; Florian Morath
    Abstract: We study conflict between two groups of individuals. Using Schaffer's (1988) concept of evolutionary stability we provide an evolutionary underpinning for in-group altruism combined with spiteful behavior towards members of the rival out-group. We characterize the set of evolutionarily stable combinations of in-group favoritism and out-group spite and find that an increase in in-group altruism can be balanced by a decrease in spiteful behavior towards the out-group.
    Keywords: altruism, spite, in-group favoritism, conflict, evolutionary stability, indirect evolutionary approach
    Date: 2011–06
  11. By: Yohei Sekiguchi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: We consider an axiomatic characterization of the plurality rule, which selects the alternative(s) most preferred by the largest number of individuals. We strengthen the characterization result of Yeh (Economic Theory 34: 575{583, 2008) by replacing <em> effciency</em> axiom by the weaker axiom called <em>faithfulness</em>. Formally, we show that the plurality rule is the only rule satisfying <em>anonymity, neutrality, reinforcement, tops-only</em>, and<em> faithfulness</em>.
    Date: 2012–01

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