New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒03‒14
six papers chosen by

  1. Looking beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes By Chong, Alberto; De La O Torres, Ana L.; Karlan, Dean; Wantchekon, Leonard
  3. Politics in Coalition Formation of Local Governments By Tuukka Saarimaa; Janne Tukiainen
  4. The informational simplicity of scoring rules By Núñez Matias; Valleta Giacomo
  5. A Generalization of Sen’s Unification Theorem: Avoiding the Necessity of Pairs and Triplets By He, Junnan
  6. Stability of Coalitional Equilibria within Repeated Tax Competition By Sonja Brangewitz; Sarah Brockhoff

  1. By: Chong, Alberto (George Washington University); De La O Torres, Ana L. (Yale University); Karlan, Dean (Yale University); Wantchekon, Leonard (Princeton University)
    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: D72 D73 D82 D83
    Date: 2012–01
  2. By: Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Using data from Italian municipal elections from 1993 to 2011, we investigate whether political competition affects electoral turnout. Taking advantage of the dual ballot system adopted for municipalities with more than 15,000 inhabitants, we measure the expected closeness in the second round through the first round electoral results. Thanks to the richness of our dataset we are able to distinguish between valid, blank and invalid ballots and to investigate the effect of closeness on each of these variables, controlling for municipalities’ and candidates’ characteristics and for municipal fixed effects. We also estimate a Heckman selection model to take into account for the non-randomly selected sample. It emerges that closeness strongly increases valid ballots and reduces blank ballots supporting the idea that the expected benefits of voting increase in closer competitions. The effect is much higher in magnitude than that merging when measuring closeness with ex-post electoral results, suggesting a quite relevant endogeneity bias. On the other hand, we do not find any statistically significant effect on invalid ballots.
    Keywords: Electoral Turnout, Closeness, Electoral Competition, Blank and Invalid Ballots
    JEL: D72 D78 J45
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Tuukka Saarimaa; Janne Tukiainen
    Abstract: We analyze empirically the coalition formation of local governments using a novel reduced form econometric procedure that allows for multi-partner mergers. Using Finnish municipal merger data where mergers were decided independently at the local level, we find that merger decisions are largely in line with voter preferences. Most importantly, mergers are clearly less likely when the distance of the median voter to the coalition centre is large. However, councillors seem also to prefer mergers where post-merger political competition is lower which indicates a concern for re-election. Interestingly, municipalities do not seem to be seeking economies of scale through merging. This is possibly due to existing cooperation in service production which we find to be a strong predictor of merging.
    Keywords: Coalition formation, local politics, choice based sampling
    JEL: H77 H72 C35
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Núñez Matias; Valleta Giacomo (METEOR)
    Abstract: Voters assign a score to each of the many available alternatives. We study the normativeproperties of procedures that aggregate the scores collected in the ballot box. A vast class ofaggregation procedures, including procedures based on the pairwise comparison of alternatives,satisfy May''s famous conditions in our framework. We prove that, within such a plethora ofprocedures, scoring rules are singled out by a property related to their informational simplicity:in order to determine the winner, they do not take into account the specific distribution ofscores chosen by each voter. The result is shown to hold regardless of the introduction ofasymmetry among the alternatives.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012
  5. By: He, Junnan
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the axiomatic foundation of the revealed preference theory. Many well-known results in literature rest upon the ability to choose over budget sets that contains only 2 or 3 elements, the situations which are not observable in real life. In order to give a more realistic approach, this paper shows that many of the famous consistency requirements, such as those proposed by Arrow, Sen, Samuelson etc., are equivalent if the domain of choice functions satisfy some set theoretical properties. And these properties, unions and inclusions for example, are proposed in a way that gives observability.
    Keywords: Revealed Preference Theory; Rationality; Ordering; Preference; Choice function
    JEL: D11 D01
    Date: 2011–11–10
  6. By: Sonja Brangewitz (Institute of Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Sarah Brockhoff (Department of Business Administration and Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the stability of capital tax harmonization agreements in a stylized model where countries have formed coalitions which set a common tax rate in order to avoid the inefficient fully non-cooperative Nash equilibrium. In particular, for a given coalition structure we study to what extend the stability of tax agreements is affected by the coalitions that have formed. In our set-up, countries are symmetric, but coalitions can be of arbitrary size. We analyze stability by means of a repeated game setting employing simple trigger strategies and we allow a sub-coalition to deviate from the coalitional equilibrium. For a given form of punishment we are able to rank the stability of different coalition structures as long as the size of the largest coalition does not change. Our main results are: (1) singleton regions have the largest incentives to deviate, (2) the stability of cooperation depends on the degree of cooperative behavior ex-ante.
    Keywords: capital tax competition, tax coordination, coalitional equilibria, repeated game
    JEL: C71 C72 H71 H77
    Date: 2012–02

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