New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒02‒01
five papers chosen by

  1. Why Bother Asking? The Limited Value of Self-Reported Vote Intention By Rogers, Todd; Aida, Masa
  2. Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965 By Elizabeth U. Cascio; Ebonya L. Washington
  3. On the Efficiency of Partial Information in Elections By Jon X. Eguia; Antonio Nicolò
  4. Mediation and Peace By Horner, Johannes; Morelli, Massimo; Squintani, Francesco
  5. Incentives and Stability of International Climate Coalitions: An Integrated Assessment By Valentina Bosetti; Carlo Carraro; Enrica De Cian; Emanuele Massetti; Massimo Tavoni

  1. By: Rogers, Todd (Harvard University and Analyst Institute, Washington, DC); Aida, Masa (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Washington, DC)
    Abstract: How accurate are people when predicting whether they will vote? These self-predictions are used by political scientists to proxy for political motivation, and by public opinion researcher to predict election outcomes. Phone surveys from three elections, including one survey experiment, are analyzed to compare respondents' pre-election vote intention with their actual voting behavior using administrative records (N=29,403). Unsurprisingly, many who predict that they will vote actually do not vote. More surprisingly, many who predict that they will not vote actually do vote (29% to 56%). Records of past voting behavior predicts turnout substantially better than self-prediction. Self-prediction inaccuracy is not caused by lack of cognitive salience of past voting, or by inability to recall past voting. Moreover, self-reported recall of turnout in one past election predicts future turnout just as well as self-prediction. We discuss implications for political science research, behavioral prediction, election administration policy, and public opinion.
    Date: 2012–01
  2. By: Elizabeth U. Cascio; Ebonya L. Washington
    Abstract: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) has been called one of the most effective pieces of civil rights legislation in US history, having generated dramatic increases in black voter registration and black voter turnout across the South. We show that the expansion of black voting rights in some southern states brought about by one requirement of the VRA – the elimination of literacy tests at voter registration – was accompanied by a shift in the distribution of state aid toward localities with higher proportions of black residents, who held newfound power to affect the reelection of state officials, a finding that is consistent with models of distributive politics. Our estimates imply an elasticity of state transfers to counties with respect to turnout in presidential elections – the closest available measure of enfranchisement – of roughly one.
    JEL: D72 H7 I2 J15 N32
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Jon X. Eguia; Antonio Nicolò
    Abstract: We study the relation between the electorate's information about candidates' policy platforms during an election, and the subsequent provision of inefficient local public goods (pork) by the winning candidate. More information does not lead to better outcomes. We show that the efficient outcome in which no candidate proposes to provide any inefficient good is sustained in equilibrium only if voters are not well informed. If the electorate is well informed, electoral competition leads candidates to provide inefficient pork in all equilibria. We show that this result is robust even if candidates care about efficiency.
    Keywords: Elections, information, inefficiency, pork, campaigns
    JEL: H40 D61 D72
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Horner, Johannes (Yale University); Morelli, Massimo (European University Institute; Columbia University,); Squintani, Francesco (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper applies mechanism design to con ict resolution. We determine when and how unmediated communication and mediation reduce the ex ante probability of con ict in a game with asymmetric information. Mediation improves upon unmediated communication when the intensity of con ict is high, or when asymmetric information is signi cant. The mediator improves upon unmediated communication by not precisely reporting information to con icting parties, and precisely, by not revealing to a player with probability one that the opponent is weak. Arbitrators who can enforce settlements are no more e ective than mediators who only make non-binding recommendations.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Valentina Bosetti (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and CMCC); Carlo Carraro (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, University of Venice, CEPR, CESifo and CMCC); Enrica De Cian (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and CMCC); Emanuele Massetti (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and CMCC); Massimo Tavoni (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and CMCC)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the incentives to participate in and the stability of international climate coalitions. Using the integrated assessment model WITCH, the analysis of coalitions’ profitability and stability is performed under alternative assumptions concerning the pure rate of time preference, the social welfare aggregator and the extent of climate damages. We focus on the profitability, stability, and “potential stability” of a number of coalitions which are “potentially effective” in reducing emissions. We find that only the grand coalition under a specific sets of assumptions finds it optimal to stabilise GHG concentration below 550 ppm CO2-eq. However, the grand coalition is found not to be stable, not even “potentially stable” even through an adequate set of transfers. However, there exist potentially stable coalitions, but of smaller size, which are also potentially environmentally effective. Depending on the assumptions made, they could achieve up to 600 ppm CO2-eq. More ambitious targets lead to the collapse of the coalition.
    Keywords: Climate Policy, Climate Coalition, Game Theory, Free Riding
    JEL: C68 C72 D58 Q54
    Date: 2011–12

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