New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒04‒03
nine papers chosen by

  1. Voting Behaviour in a dynamic perspective: a survey By Martorana, Marco Ferdinando
  2. What makes voters turn out: the effects of polls and beliefs By Marina Agranov; Jacob K. Goeree; Julian Romero; Leeat Yariv
  3. Mechanism Design and Voting for Public-Good Provision By Felix Bierbrauer; Martin Hellwig
  4. Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership By Geys, Benny
  5. Turnout and the Modeling of Economic Conditions: Evidence from Portuguese Elections By Rodrigo Martins; Francisco José Veiga
  6. Measuring consensus in a preference-approval context By Bora Erdamar; José Luis Garcia-Lapresta; David Pérez-Roman; Remzi Sanver
  7. Public-Private Mix of Health Expenditure: A Political Economy Approach and A Quantitative Exercise By Shuyun May Li; Solmaz Moslehi; Siew Ling Yew
  8. Social Preferences under Uncertainty: Equality of Opportunity vs. Equality of Outcome By Kota SAITO
  9. Does democracy reduce corruption? By Ivar Kolstad; Arne Wiig

  1. By: Martorana, Marco Ferdinando
    Abstract: Traditional rational choice theories of voting state that, in a scenario with positive voting costs, people will vote only when they are pivotal. This hypothesis is contradicted by the frequent observation of relatively high rates of electoral turnout. Over the last few decades, several approaches have been developed in attempts to explain the paradox of not voting and to define more realistic behavioural rules, both within the rational voter framework and in opposition to that paradigm. This study offers a critical review of bounded rationality-based dynamic models. This class of model seems to be more promising than previous models in that it offers results consistent with observed voting patterns and investigates voter choices while assuming that social processes develop continuously.
    Keywords: voting behavior; bounded rationality; dynamic models
    JEL: D03 D72 C73
    Date: 2011–11–25
  2. By: Marina Agranov; Jacob K. Goeree; Julian Romero; Leeat Yariv
    Abstract: We use laboratory experiments to test for one of the foundations of the rational voter paradigm - that voters respond to probabilities of being pivotal. We exploit a setup that entails stark theoretical effects of information concerning the preference distribution (as revealed through polls) on costly participation decisions. The data reveal several insights. First, voting propensity increases systematically with subjects' predictions of their preferred alternative's advantage. Consequently, pre-election polls do not exhibit the detrimental welfare effects that extant theoretical work predicts. They lead to more participation by the expected majority and generate more landslide elections. Finally, we investigate subjects' behavior in polls and identify when Bandwagon and Underdog Effects arise.
    Keywords: Collective choice, polls, strategic voting
    JEL: C92 D02 D72
    Date: 2012–03
  3. By: Felix Bierbrauer (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: We propose a new approach to the normative analysis of public-good provision. In addition to individual incentive compatibility, we impose conditions of robust implementability and coalition proofness. Under these additional conditions, participants' contributions can only depend on the level of public-good provision. For a public good that comes as a single indivisible unit, provision can only depend on the population share of people in favour of provision. Robust implementability and coalition proofness thus provide a foundation for the use of voting mechanisms. The analysis is also extended to a specifi cation with more than two public-good provision levels.
    Keywords: Mechanism Design, Public-good provision, Large Economy, Voting Mechanisms
    JEL: D82 H41 D70 D60
    Date: 2011–12
  4. By: Geys, Benny
    Abstract: Political parties are often argued to compete for voters by stressing issues they feel they own - a strategy known as 'selective emphasis'. While usually seen as an electorally rewarding strategy, this article argues that cultivating your themes in the public debate is not guaranteed to be electorally beneficial and may even become counter-productive. It describes the conditions under which 'selective emphasis' becomes counter-productive, and applies the argument to recent discussions regarding the strategies of mainstream parties confronting the extreme right. --
    Keywords: issue salience,issue ownership,party competition
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Rodrigo Martins (Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra and GEMF); Francisco José Veiga (University of Minho and 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: 2012–03
  6. By: Bora Erdamar (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, Istanbul Bilgi University - [-]); José Luis Garcia-Lapresta (PRESAD Research Group - University of Valladolid); David Pérez-Roman (PRESAD Research Group - University of Valladolid); Remzi Sanver (Department of Economics, Bilgi University - Istanbul Bilgi University)
    Abstract: We consider measuring the degree of homogeneity for preference-approval profiles which include the approval information for the alternatives as well as the rankings of them. A distance-based approach is followed to measure the disagreement for any given two preference-approvals. Under the condition that a proper metric is used, we propose a measure of consensus which is robust to some extensions of the ordinal framework. This paper also shows that there exists a limit for increasing the homogeneity level in a group of individuals by simply replicating their preference-approvals.
    Keywords: Consensus, Approval voting, Preference-approval, Kemeny metric, Hamming metric
    Date: 2012–03–21
  7. By: Shuyun May Li; Solmaz Moslehi; Siew Ling Yew
    Abstract: This paper constructs a simple overlapping generations model to examine how the choice of public and private health expenditure is affected by preferences and economic factors under majority voting. In the model, agents with heterogeneous income decide how much to consume, save, and invest in private health care, and vote for the income tax to be used to finance public health. Agents.survival probabilities are endogenously determined by a CES composite of public and private health expenditure. For the two special cases that public and private health are complements or perfect substitutes, we show that the voting equilibrium is unique and locally stable. For the general case, we calibrate the model to Canadian data to conduct a quantitative analysis. Our results suggest that the public-private mix of health expenditure is quite sensitive to the degree of substitutability between private and public health and the relative effectiveness of public and private health. Using a sample of advanced democratic countries, we further infer these two parameters and construct the shares of public health in total health expenditure for each country, and find that the predicted values match the data quite well.
    Keywords: Public-private mix, Health expenditure, Majority voting, Overlapping generations model
    JEL: D7 H51 I1
    Date: 2012–03
  8. By: Kota SAITO
    Date: 2012–03–23
  9. By: Ivar Kolstad; Arne Wiig
    Abstract: While democracy is commonly believed to reduce corruption, there are obvious endogeneity problems in measuring the impact of democracy on corruption. This paper addresses the endogeneity of democracy by exploiting the common observation that democracies seldom go to war against each other. We instrument for democracy using a dummy variable reflecting whether a country has been at war with a democracy in the period 1946-2009, while controlling for the extent to which countries have been at war in general. We find that democracy to a significant extent reduces corruption, and the effect is considerably larger than suggested by estimations not taking endogeneity into account. Democracy is hence more important in combating corruption than previous studies would suggest.  
    Keywords: Democracy, corruption, conflict, endogeneity
    Date: 2011

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