New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2012‒09‒22
five papers chosen by

  1. Interpersonal In?fluence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households. By Ana Sílvia de Matos Vaz
  2. Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence By Colin Jennings
  3. The Determinants of Election to the United Nations Security Council By Axel Dreher; Matthew Gould; Matthew D. Rablen; James Raymond Vreeland
  4. Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies. The Political Economy of Good Governance in China By Gilli, Mario; Li, Yuan
  5. Female Representation but Male Rule? Party Competition and the Political Glass Ceiling By Folke, Olle; Rickne, Johanna

  1. By: Ana Sílvia de Matos Vaz
    Abstract: Voter education is crucial to promote voters’ participation. The question that remains is how voter education campaigns can reach a significant part of the population. During the 2009 Mozambican elections, a field experiment implemented three voter education interventions: the distribution of a free newspaper, the creation of a SMS hotline to report electoral problems, and a civic education campaign. Based on a sample of untreated individuals living with experimental subjects, this paper examines the diffusion of the interventions’ effects within the household. I find different spillover effects associated with different interventions and interpret that as evidence that different interventions trigger influence at different levels. I find that the delivery of the newspaper has almost no effect on the other people in the household. The hotline intervention affects the preferences and behavior of the other individuals, but not their information. Finally, the civic education campaign only affects the behavior of other people in the household. This paper shows that the transmission of voter education campaigns’ effects does not occur through information sharing, but through sharing of opinions and pressure. Furthermore, this study provides statistical evidence that social control increases voter turnout.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Colin Jennings (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper provides a rationale for group support for political violence when violence does not provide a material beneÂ…fit. A theory of fairness is adopted to demonstrate that although group violence may not be the equilibrium of a material game it may be a fairness equilibrium in a game containing psychological payoffs. For this to happen the material stakes must be perceived as low and psychological payoffs are expressive. Although the material stakes are actually high, members of each group may choose expressively to support the use of violence because the probability of being decisive is low. The paper also considers the possibility of peace emerging as a fairness equilibrium. This can only happen if each group perceives the other as making some sacrfiÂ…ce in choosing peace.
    Keywords: confl‡ict; emotions; reciprocity; expressive
    JEL: D03 D72 D74
    Date: 2012–08
  3. By: Axel Dreher; Matthew Gould; Matthew D. Rablen; James Raymond Vreeland
    Abstract: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the foremost international body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Members vote on issues of global importance and consequently receive perks – election to the UNSC predicts, for instance, World Bank and IMF loans. But who gets elected to the UNSC? Addressing this question empirically is not straightforward as it requires a model that allows for discrete choices at the regional and international levels; the former nominates candidates while the latter ratifies them. Using an original multiple discrete choice model to analyze a dataset of 180 elections from 1970 to 2005, we find that UNSC election appears to derive from a compromise between the demands of populous countries to win election more frequently and a norm of giving each country its turn. Involvement in warfare lowers election probability, but there is little evidence that the level of economic development or foreign aid predict election.
    Date: 2012–07
  4. By: Gilli, Mario (University of Milan-Bicocca); Li, Yuan (University of Duisburg--Essen)
    Abstract: Do the citizens have a role in constraining policies in autocratic governments? Usually the political and economic literature model autocracy as if the citizens have no role in constraining leader’s behavior, but actually autocratic government are afraid of possible citizens’ revolts. In this paper we focus on contemporary China to analyze how citizens might induce an autocratic government to adopt congruent policies. Although there is no party or electoral competition, the leader fears deposition by coup d’état of the selectorate and revolutionary threats from citizens. We build a three player political agency model to study the role of both these constraints and we show that the effectiveness of the selectorate and of revolutionary threats are crucial factors in determining the policy outcomes. In particular, we show that the citizens can effectively discipline the leader because of the revolution threat notwithstanding the selectorate size, but this may result in a failed state when the costs of revolting and the selectorate size are small. As the size of the selectorate and the costs of revolution vary dramatically across countries, our result explain why different types of autocracies arise. In particular our model and results provide a useful framework to interpret China policy in the last twenty years.
    Keywords: Autocracy; Accountability; Revolt; Chinese Economic Reform
    JEL: D02 D74 H11
    Date: 2012–09–05
  5. By: Folke, Olle (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Rickne, Johanna (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: A large literature has studied the context that affects women’s numerical representation, but few have moved beyond numbers to study the drivers of a gender gap in political influence among elected politicians. Using panel data for the careers of 35.000 Swedish municipal politicians over six election cycles we first document the said gender gap. Women are substantially less likely to be re-elected for office, which is the most important pre-condition for obtaining influential appointments. Turing to the determinants we find that supply factors, primarily family responsibilities, explain some of this gap. Meanwhile, demand factors such as experience, age, education and income do not. Finding that competition between political parties closes the gap, we argue that a negative bias against women among party selectors thrives in contexts where meritocracy is not enforced. Positive correlations between competition and measures of competence for elected politicians of both genders further support this conclusion.
    Keywords: Careers in politics; Political competition; Supply of politicians
    JEL: H10 J16 J21 J45
    Date: 2012–09–05

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