New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒09‒16
five papers chosen by

  1. Elections and the Quality of Public Officials: Evidence from U.S. State Courts By Claire S.H. Lim; James M. Snyder, Jr.
  2. On the Measurement of Success and Satisfaction By René van den Brink; Frank Steffen
  3. Do Absolute Majorities Spend Less?: Evidence from Germany By Ronny Freier; Christian Odendahl
  4. Spectrum Value for Coalitional Games By Mikel Alvarez-Mozos; Ziv Hellman; Eyal Winter
  5. On the Convergence to Nash Bargaining Solution for Endogenous Bargaining Protocols By Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Britz Volker; Predtetchinski Arkadi

  1. By: Claire S.H. Lim; James M. Snyder, Jr.
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of electoral rules and voter information in elections on voting outcomes and the quality of public officials, using new data on state court judge elections in 39 states in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010. We find, first, that voting is very partisan in partisan judicial elections – i.e., there is a strong correlation between the Democratic "normal vote'' and the Democratic vote share for judges – but not in non-partisan or non-competitive "retention'' elections. This partisan voting behavior cannot be attributed to clear differences between Democratic and Republican judges in their sentencing decisions, since such differences, if any, are small and not consistent. Second, we find that incumbent judges' quality has little effect on their vote share or probability of winning in partisan general elections. By contrast, it has a substantial effect in non-partisan elections and partisan primary elections. It also has a noticeable effect on their vote share in retention elections, but the magnitude is often too small to affect reelection. Evidence on turnout is consistent with a simple "voting cue'' hypothesis. We find that about 83\% of the voters who vote on the top office on the ballot also vote on judicial elections in partisan elections. In contrast, in nonpartisan and retention elections, only 76\% and 67\% of those who vote on the top office also vote on judicial candidates, respectively. In addition, the amount of newspaper coverage affects voter turnout only in non-partisan elections.
    JEL: D72 D78 H70 K40
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: René van den Brink (VU University Amsterdam); Frank Steffen (The University of Liverpool Management School)
    Abstract: The main purpose of the present paper is to disentangle the mix-up of the notions of success and satisfaction which is prevailing in the voting power literature. We demonstrate that both notions are conceptually distinct, and discuss their relationship and measurement. We show that satisfaction contains success as one component, and that both coincide under the canonical set-up of a simultaneous decision-making mechanism as it is predominant in the voting power literature. However, we provide two examples of sequential decision-making mechanisms in order to illustrate the difference between success and satisfaction. In the context of the discussion of both notions we also address their relationship to different types of luck.
    Keywords: success; satisfaction; luck; power
    JEL: C79 D02 D71
    Date: 2012–03–27
  3. By: Ronny Freier; Christian Odendahl
    Abstract: The number of parties in government is usually considered to increase spending. We show that this is not necessarily the case. Using a new method to detect close election outcomes in multi-party systems, we isolate truly exogenous variation in the type of government. With data from municipalities in the German state of Bavaria, we show in regression discontinuity-type estimations that absolute majorities spend more, not less, and increase the property tax rate. We also find weakly significant results for increases in debt. Politically, our results show that the mayor that heads an absolute majority of his own party gains the most, but the party itself does not.
    Keywords: fiscal spending, local election, absolute majority, municipality data, regression discontinuity
    JEL: H11 H71 H72 H74
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Mikel Alvarez-Mozos; Ziv Hellman; Eyal Winter
    Abstract: Assuming a `spectrum' or ordering on the players of a coalitional game, as in a political spectrum in a parliamentary situation, we consider a variation of the Shapley value in which coalitions may only be formed if they are connected with respect to the spectrum. This results in a naturally asymmetric power index in which positioning along the spectrum is critical. We present both a characterisation of this value by means of properties and combinatoric formulae for calculating it. In simple majority games, the greatest power accrues to `moderate' players who are located neither at the extremes of the spectrum nor in its centre. In supermajority games, power increasingly accrues towards the extremes, and in unaninimity games all power is held by the players at the extreme of the spectrum.
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Britz Volker; Predtetchinski Arkadi (METEOR)
    Abstract: We consider non-cooperative multilateral bargaining games with endogenous bargaining protocols.Under an endogenous protocol, the probability with which a player becomes the proposer in a roundof bargaining depends on the identity of the player who previously rejected. An important exampleis the frequently studied rejector-becomes-proposer protocol. We focus on subgame perfectequilibria in stationary strategies which are shown to exist and to be efficient. Equilibriumproposals do not depend on the probability to proposeconditional on the rejection by another player, though equilibrium acceptance sets do depend onthese probabilities. Next we consider the limit, as the bargaining friction vanishes. In case noplayer has a positive probability to propose conditional on his rejection, each player receiveshis utopia payoff conditional on being recognized and equilibrium payoffs are in general Paretoinefficient. Otherwise, equilibrium proposals of all players converge to a weighted NashBargaining Solution, where the weights are determined by the probability to propose conditional ona rejection.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012

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