New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒07‒14
five papers chosen by

  1. Electoral Competition through Issue Selection By Aragonés, Enriqueta; Castanheira, Micael; Giani, Marco
  2. Electoral Rules and Clientelistic Parties: A Regression Discontinuity Approach By Miquel Pellicer; Eva Wegner
  3. Decidability in complex social choices By Luigi Marengo; Davide Pirino; Simona Settepanella; Akimichi Takemura
  4. Compte-rendu de l’expérimentation des votes par approbation et par note lors des élections présidentielles françaises le 22 avril 2012 à Saint-Etienne, Strasbourg et Louvigny By Antoinette Baujard; Frédéric Gavrel; Herrade Igersheim; Jean-François Laslier; Isabelle Lebon
  5. Heterogeneity and Voting: A Framed Public Good Experiment By Kerri Brick; Martine Visser

  1. By: Aragonés, Enriqueta; Castanheira, Micael; Giani, Marco
    Abstract: Politics must tackle multiple issues at once. In a first-best world, political competition constrains parties to prioritize issues according to the voters' true concerns. In the real world, the opposite also happens: parties manipulate voter priorities by emphasizing issues selectively during the political campaign. This phenomenon, known as priming, should allow parties to pay less attention to the issues that they intend to mute. We develop a model of endogenous issue ownership in which two vote-seeking parties (i) invest to attract voters with "better" policy proposals and (ii) choose a communication campaign to focus voter attention on specific issues. We identify novel feedbacks between communication and investment. In particular, we find that stronger priming effects can backfire by constraining parties to invest more resources in all issues, including the ones they would otherwise intend to mute. We also identify under which conditions parties prefer to focus on their "historical issues" or to engage in issue stealing. Typically, the latter happens when priming effects are strong, and historical reputations differentiates parties less.
    Keywords: Electoral competition; issue selection and ownership; party strategy; priming; salience
    JEL: D72 H11
    Date: 2012–06
  2. By: Miquel Pellicer; Eva Wegner (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of electoral systems on the performance of clientelistic vs. programmatic parties. We argue that, contrary to majoritarian systems, proportional systems disfavor clientelistic parties as voters can hardly be pivotal for electing their local patron. We test this insight using data from local elections in Morocco from 2003 and 2009. We use a regression discontinuity approach exploiting the fact that the law stipulates a population threshold below which the system is majoritarian and above which it is proportional. Results show a differential causal effect of proportional systems on programmatic and clientelisticparties: Clientelistic parties halve their seats and the programmatic party doubles them when crossing the threshold of proportionality. An important caveat is that the sample size around the threshold being relatively small, some coefficients are estimated relatively imprecisely. Fixed effects estimates exploiting a change in threshold from 2003 to 2009 yield qualitatively similar results.
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Luigi Marengo; Davide Pirino; Simona Settepanella; Akimichi Takemura
    Abstract: Recently, Marengo and Settepanella (2010) introduced a model of social choice among bundles of interdependent elements. In this paper we prove that their voting model is highly decidable, i.e. a group of agents that agrees to use such voting process has an high probability to reach a final decision. We also better qualify the degree of manipulability of such a final decision, showing that it is independent not only from the agenda, but also from the initial condition. Therefore we show that the Marengo and Settepanella (2010) model has nice properties of decidability and can be fruitfully used both for normative and positive analyzes of collective choices among complex interdependent elements.
    Keywords: Social rule, object, optimum, probability, tournament m
    Date: 2012–07–05
  4. By: Antoinette Baujard (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, F-42000, France); Frédéric Gavrel (Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, F-14000, France ; CNRS, CREM, Rennes et Caen); Herrade Igersheim (CNRS et Université de Strasbourg, F-67081 Strasbourg, France ; CNRS, BETA Strasbourg.); Jean-François Laslier (CNRS et Ecole Polytechnique, F-91128 Palaiseau, France ; CNRS, PREG); Isabelle Lebon (Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, F-14000, France ; CNRS, CREM, Rennes et Caen)
    Abstract: A l’occasion du premier tour des élections présidentielles du 22 avril 2012, les électeurs de trois communes françaises ont été invités à tester in situ le vote par approbation ainsi que trois versions du vote par évaluation. Ce papier a pour objet de présenter les résultats de cette expérimentation. Après correction des biais de représentativité locaux et nationaux, deux enseignements principaux s’en dégagent. Le vote par approbation conduit à un classement des candidats qui diffère nettement du scrutin uninominal et, quelle que soit l’échelle des notes retenue, le vote par évaluation tend à accentuer cette divergence.
    Keywords: Economie expérimentale, Expérimentation quasi-­‐terrain, Vote par approbation, Vote par évaluation, Elections
    JEL: C93 D72
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Kerri Brick; Martine Visser
    Abstract: The lack of cooperation and prevalence of free riding in efforts to reduce emissions reflects the public good dilemma synonymous with climate change: whereby individual incentives lead to sub-optimal outcomes. This study examines how cooperative norms can be fostered through democratic processes. Specifically, we assess whether a given policy affects cooperation more significantly when it is democratically chosen by heterogeneous subjects as opposed to exogenously imposed by the experimenter. Subjects with differing marginal costs of abatement must democratically select an institution to reduce a national greenhouse gas inventory. By majority vote, subjects can choose between communication and two carbon tax variants. The experimental literature from studies with homogenous subjects suggests that cooperation improves when policy is endogenously selected as opposed to exogenously enforced. Overall we find that endogenous choice does not improve cooperation when subjects are heterogeneous. Furthermore, we find that, in the absence of a binding commitment, cooperation declines with endogenous choice as the prevalence of free-riding increases.
    Keywords: heterogeneity; voting; communication; public good
    Date: 2012

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