New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒06‒05
seven papers chosen by

  1. Optimal Districting with Endogenous Party Platforms By E Bracco
  2. Does Immigration into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria By Halla, Martin; Wagner, Alexander F.; Zweimüller, Josef
  3. A rationale for intra-party democracy By Zudenkova, Galina
  4. Political agency model of persistent electoral success with endogenous rents By Vukovic, Vuk
  5. Judgment aggregation in search for the truth: the case of interconnections By Bozbay Irem
  6. Party Nomination Procedures and Quality of Government By Fernando Aragon
  7. Single-plateaued choice By Bossert Walter; Peters Hans

  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: Halla, Martin (University of Linz); Wagner, Alexander F. (University of Zurich); Zweimüller, Josef (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper explores one potentially important channel through which immigration may drive support for extreme right-wing parties: the presence of immigrants in one's neighborhood. We study the case of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Under the leadership of Jörg Haider, this party increased its share of votes from less than 5 percent in the early 1980s to 27 percent by the year 1999. Using past regional settlement patterns as a source of exogenous variation, we find a significantly positive effect of the residential proximity of immigrants on FPÖ votes, explaining roughly a quarter of the cross-community variance in FPÖ votes. It is the presence of low- and medium-skilled immigrants that drives this result; high-skilled immigrants have no (or even a negative) effect on FPÖ votes.
    Keywords: immigration, political economy, voting
    JEL: P16 J61
    Date: 2012–05
  3. By: Zudenkova, Galina
    Abstract: This paper provides a rationale for intra-party democracy within a political agency model with moral hazard. The focus is on the party's internal procedures for policy determination. I show that democratizing those procedures benefits the party leadership, which seeks to maximize joint reelection chances of the party's incumbents. The reason is that under intra-party democracy, the voters adopt less demanding reappointment rules and reelect the party's incumbents more often than under leaders-dominated party structure. My results therefore indicate that democratizing policy determination processes within the party is in the interests of both the leadership and the ordinary members. The voters in turn are equally well off regardless of the party's internal procedure for policy determination.
    Keywords: Intra-party democracy; Leaders-dominated party; Policy determination; Party internal structure; Political agency; Moral hazard
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2012–05–21
  4. By: Vukovic, Vuk
    Abstract: The paper presents a political agency model that observes how budgetary decisions on public good production affect the prospects of holding office for an incumbent political party. A simple budgetary function is broadened to include other expenditures such as public sector wages and social transfers so as to present a constraint to rent-extraction. Upon this a ratio of public goods to other expenditures is determined, which the party must keep within certain boundaries set by the voters. Rents are extracted from public good expenditures instead of being exogenously given as a part of a budget, as the party must be able to conceal rent-extraction due to constitutional boundaries. The incumbent’s decision on rents and public good production directly affects the state of the economy upon which the voters decide whether to re-elect the incumbent or not. Incumbents make their decisions based on observing the economic growth shock. For high levels of growth they decide to respect the voter re-election rule, while for low levels they will defect and extract maximum rents. In a repeated game setting an incumbent will always chose the optimal strategy with respect to the observed growth shock. This way, for high enough levels of economic growth an incumbent party may stay in office for an infinite amount of periods and keep maximizing rents with respect to the given constraints, without having to trade-off rents for holding office. The paper presents empirical evidence on United States gubernatorial and state legislature elections from 1992 to 2008 to evaluate the underlining theory.
    Keywords: Political agency; rent-extraction; public good production; political parties; endogenous rents
    JEL: C71 H72 D72 C33
    Date: 2011–09–01
  5. By: Bozbay Irem (METEOR)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the problem of aggregating judgments when strategic voters hold privateinformation about which propositions are true and share a common preference for true collectivejudgments. We go beyond previous work by introducing logical interconnections between thepropositions. A voter''s private information can be inconclusive. The goal is to determine thevoting rules which lead to collective judgments that efficiently incorporate all privateinformation. We characterize the (rare) situations in which such rules exist, as well as thenature of these rules.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Fernando Aragon (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: This paper explores empirically the relation between party's procedures to nominate candidates, such as primaries, and quality of government. Using a panel data of Latin America countries, I find robust evidence that the quality of government is higher during the mandate of primary-nominated presidents. The empirical strategy exploits within country variation and controls for relevant covariates at country and party level. Using an instrumental variable approach with determinants of primary adoption produces similar results. The findings are consistent with primaries increasing incentives among candidates to improve policy design, and suggest that party institutions matter for governance.
    Keywords: Governance; Political parties; Candidate nomination procedures; Primaries
    JEL: H11 H80
    Date: 2012–05
  7. By: Bossert Walter; Peters Hans (METEOR)
    Abstract: Single-plateaued preferences generalize single-peaked preferences by allowing for multiple bestelements. These preferences have played an important role in areas such as voting,strategy-proofness andmatching problems. We examine the notion of single-plateauedness in a choice-theoretic setting.Single-plateaued choice is characterized by means of a collinear interval continuity property inthe presence of independence of irrelevant alternatives. Further results establish that our notionof single-plateauedness conforms to the motivation underlying the term and we analyze theconsequences of alternative continuity properties. The importance of basic assumptions such asclosedness and convexity is discussed.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012

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