New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒07‒01
five papers chosen by

  1. Local politics and economic geography By Berliant, Marcus; Tabuchi, Takatoshi
  2. Immigration and election outcomes: Evidence from city districts in Hamburg By Otto, Alkis Henri; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  3. Approval consensus measures By Alcantud, José Carlos R.; de Andres Calle, Rocio; Cascon, José Manuel
  4. Ghana: The Limits of External Democracy Assistance By Gyimah-Boadi, E.; Yakah, Theo
  5. Composition of Public Education Expenditures and Human Capital Accumulation By Naito, Katsuyuki; Nishida, Keigo

  1. By: Berliant, Marcus; Tabuchi, Takatoshi
    Abstract: We consider information aggregation in national and local elections when voters are mobile and might sort themselves into local districts. Using a standard model of private information for voters in elections in combination with a New Economic Geography model, agglomeration occurs for economic reasons whereas voter stratification occurs due to political preferences. We compare a national election, where full information equivalence is attained, with local elections in a three-district model. We show that full information equivalence holds at a stable equilibrium in only one of the three districts when transportation cost is low. The important comparative static is that full information equivalence is a casualty of free trade. When trade is more costly, people tend to agglomerate for economic reasons, resulting in full information equivalence in the political sector. Under free trade, people sort themselves into districts, most of which are polarized, resulting in no full information equivalence in these districts. We examine the implications of the model using data on corruption in the legislature of the state of Alabama and in the Japanese Diet.
    Keywords: information aggregation in elections; informative voting; new economic geography; local politics
    JEL: D82 D72 R12
    Date: 2012–06–21
  2. By: Otto, Alkis Henri; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the effect of immigration on election outcomes. Our analysis makes use of data on city districts in Hamburg, Germany, during a period of substantial inflows of immigrants and asylum seekers. We find significant and robust effects for changes in foreigner shares on the electoral success of parties that built up a distinctive reputation in immigration politics. In particular, our fixed-effects estimates indicate a positive effect for xenophobic, extreme right-wing parties and an adverse effect for the Green party that actively campaigned for liberal immigration policies and minority rights. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that changes in local compositional amenities shape individual attitudes towards immigration. --
    Keywords: immigration,elections,xenophobia
    JEL: D72 J15 R23
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Alcantud, José Carlos R.; de Andres Calle, Rocio; Cascon, José Manuel
    Abstract: In many realistic group decision making problems where a “representative” collective output must be produced, it is relevant to measure how much consensus this solution conveys to the group. Many aspects influence the final decision in group decision making problems. Two key issues are the experts’ individual opinions and the methodology followed to compute such a final decision (aggregation operators, voting systems, etc.). In this paper we consider situations where each member of a population decides upon approving or not approving each of a set of options. The experts express their opinions in a dichotomous way, e.g., because they intend to use approval voting. In order to measure the consensus or cohesiveness that the expression of the individual preferences conveys we propose the concept of approval consensus measure (ACM), which does not refer to any priors of the agents like preferences or other decision-making processes. Then we give axiomatic characterizations of two generic classes of ACMs.
    Keywords: Approval voting; Consensus measures; Tanimoto similarity index
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2012–06
  4. By: Gyimah-Boadi, E.; Yakah, Theo
    Abstract: Ghana?s experience since the early 1990s indicates that external aid can significantly impact a country?s democratic transition. External democracy assistance has been a crucial, positive factor in Ghana?s steady evolution into an electoral democracy over
    Keywords: Ghana, electoral democracy, foreign aid
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Naito, Katsuyuki; Nishida, Keigo
    Abstract: This paper provides a simple theory to study how the allocation of public funds between primary and higher education affects human capital accumulation. The allocation is endogenously determined through majority voting. Public funding for higher education is not supported when a majority is poor. In some cases, higher education starts to be realized as a majority of individuals accumulate enough human capital through primary education. Although the emergence of higher education can accelerate aggregate human capital accumulation, it widens income inequality because the very poor are excluded from higher education and the declined budget share for primary education decreases its quality.
    Keywords: Public Education; Economic Development; Income Inequality; Majority Voting
    JEL: O11 O15 D72 O40
    Date: 2012–06–22

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.