New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒09‒09
six papers chosen by

  1. Voting Power and Proportional Representation of Voters By Yair Tauman; Artyom Jelnov
  2. The Dark Side of the Vote - Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting By Rebecca B. Morton; Marco Piovesan; Jean-Robert Tyran
  3. Money Talks: The Impact of Citizens United on State Elections By Klumpp, Tilman; Mialon, Hugo; Williams, Michael
  4. Bargaining over an Endogenous Agenda By Vincent Anesi; Daniel J Seidmann
  5. Bargaining in Standing Committees By Vincent Anesi; Daniel J Seidmann
  6. The Impact of Gender Quotas on Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities By Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa; Marco Alberto De Benedetto

  1. By: Yair Tauman (Department of Economics, Stony Brook University); Artyom Jelnov (The Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Israel)
    Abstract: Our paper provides a justication for the proportional representative (PR) election system for politically diversied societies. We employ the Shapley value concept to measure the political power of parties in a parliament. We prove that for the PR system if parties' size add up to 1 and is uniformly distributed, the expected ratio of a party size to its political power converges to 1, and the variance decreases to 0 as the number of parties increases. The rate of convergence is high. An empirical evidence from the Netherlands elections supports our result. Using the Shapley-Owen index we obtain similar result (this time numerically only) for a voting model that takes into account ideological differences between parties and voters.
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Rebecca B. Morton (Department of Politics, NYU); Marco Piovesan (Harvard University); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Vienna, and Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a "?dark side"?, i.e. result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. We develop a model to predict how two types of social information shape efficiency in the presence of biased voters and we test these predictions using a novel experimental design. In line with predictions, we find that information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. In the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective. While voters with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to be de-biased by such information, most voters do not seem to interpret such information rationally.
    JEL: C92 D7 D02 D03
    Date: 2012–08–08
  3. By: Klumpp, Tilman (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Mialon, Hugo (Emory University); Williams, Michael (Competition Economics)
    Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and labor unions are unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds (Citizens United v. FEC, 2010). In this paper, we test the hypothesis that the decision gave an electoral boost to Republicans, at the expense of Democrats. The 50 states provide an ideal testing ground for this hypothesis. The ruling only affected a subset of states since the majority of states already had no restrictions on independent expenditures, allowing us to obtain difference-in-differences estimates of the short term effects of the ruling on electoral advantage. We find that Citizens United had a positive and statistically significant effect of approximately seven percentage points on the probability of Republicans winning in state congressional elections.
    Keywords: Citizens United; independent expenditures; state elections; congressional races; campaign contributions; campaign finance
    JEL: D72 K19
    Date: 2012–08–01
  4. By: Vincent Anesi (School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Daniel J Seidmann (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We present a model of bargaining in which a committee searches over the policy space, successively amending the default by voting over proposals. Bargaining ends when proposers are unable or unwilling to amend the existing default, which is then implemented. We characterize the policies which can be implemented from any initial default in a pure strategy stationary Markov perfect equilibrium for an interesting class of environments including multi-dimensional and infinite policy spaces. Minimumwinning coalitions may not form, and a player who does not propose may nevertheless earn all of the surplus from agreement. The set of immovable policies (which are implemented, once reached as default) forms a weakly stable set; and conversely, any weakly stable set is supported by some equilibrium. If the policy space is well ordered then the committee implements the ideal policy of the last proposer in a subset of a weakly stable set. However, this result does not generalize to other cases, allowing us to explore the effects of protocol manipulation. Variations in the quota and in the set of proposers may have surprising effects on the set of immovable policies. We also show that equilibria of our model are contemporaneous perfect e-equilibria of a related model of repeated implementation with an evolving default; and that immovable policies in semi-Markovian equilibria form the largest consistent set.
    Keywords: bargaining, committee voting, evolving default, stable set
    Date: 2012–03
  5. By: Vincent Anesi (School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Daniel J Seidmann (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Committee voting has mostly been investigated from the perspective of the standard Baron-Ferejohn model of bargaining over the division of a pie, in which bargaining ends as soon as the committee reaches an agreement. In standing committees, however, existing agreements can be amended. This paper studies an extension of the Baron-Ferejohn framework to a model with an evolving default that reflects this important feature of policymaking in standing committees: In each of an infinite number of periods, the ongoing default can be amended to a new policy (which in turn determines the default for the next period). The model provides a number of quite different predictions. In particular: (i) Substantial shares of the pie are wasted each period and the size principle fails in some pure strategy Markov perfect equilibria of non-unanimity games with patient enough players; and (ii) All Markov perfect equilibria are Pareto inefficient when discount factors are heterogenous. However, there is a unique equilibrium outcome in unanimity standing committee games, which coincides with the unique equilibrium outcome of the corresponding Baron-Ferejohn framework.
    Keywords: legislative bargaining, endogenous default, efficiency, pork barrel
    Date: 2012–09
  6. By: Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa; Marco Alberto De Benedetto (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of gender quotas on electoral participation by using a rich dataset of Italian municipal elections. Gender quotas were in force in Italy from 1993 until 1995. Because of the short period covered by the reform, some municipalities never voted using gender quota. This allows us to identify a treatment and a control group and to estimate the effects of gender quotas by using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy. Notwithstanding electoral turnout shows a decreasing trend, we find that turnout has decreased significantly less in municipalities affected by the reform, suggesting that gender quotas have produced an increase in electoral participation. The effect on electoral turnout is driven by an increase in valid ballots, although we find also an increase in blank ballots. The effect is smaller in the Southern part of the country, typically characterized by more traditional gender roles. We also find that female electors react more than males probably because they expect female policy-makers to give particular attention to women’s interests.
    Keywords: Gender Quotas, Political Participation, Electoral Turnout, Natural Experiment, Gender Discrimination
    JEL: D72 D78 J71 J16
    Date: 2012–08

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