New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2013‒05‒22
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Turnout, Political Preferences and Information: Experimental Evidence from Peru By Gianmarco León
  2. Are Generous People More Likely to Vote? By Baris Yoruk
  3. Making sense of “weakness” of post-communist civil society: Individual vs. organized engagement in civil advocacy in the Czech Republic By Jirí Navrátil
  4. Government Popularity and the Economy First Evidence from German Micro Data By Soeren Enkelmann
  5. Decision–Making and Implementation in Teams By Jordi Blanes i Vidal; Marc Möller
  6. Dealing with Governance and Anticorruption Issues in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States : Ten Things Team Leaders Should Know By World Bank
  7. Estimating Bayesian Decision Problems with Heterogeneous Priors By Stephen Hansen; Michael McMahon
  8. Top Guns May Not Fire: Best-Shot Group Contests with Group-Specific Public Good Prizes By Subhasish M. Chowdhury; Dongryul Lee; Roman M. Sheremeta
  9. Revisiting the Antisocial Punishment across Societies Experiment By Pablo Lucas; Issam Malki
  10. The Determinants of UN Interventions. Are There Regional Preferences? By Juan C. Duque; Michael Jetter; Santiago Sosa

  1. By: Gianmarco León
    Abstract: I combine a field experiment with a change in voting laws reducing the fine for abstention to assess the effect of monetary incentives to encourage voter participation. I estimate that the elasticity of voting with respect to the cost is -0.21. As predicted by the model, the reduction in turnout is driven by centrist voters, those who hold less political information, and are less interested in politics. The increase in abstention does not change preferences for specific policies, on average, or lower information acquisition. Finally, the incidence of vote buying is unaffected, but the price of a vote increases.
    Keywords: voting behavior, incentives to vote, public choice, Peru
    JEL: D71 D72 O53
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: Baris Yoruk
    Abstract: Policymakers in the Unites States and many other countries encourage charitable giving through various subsidies. In the United States, for instance, charitable contributions can be deducted from taxable income making the price of giving inversely related to the marginal tax rate. However, the net effects of such subsidies can be better understood by exploring the relationship between generosity and other types of prosocial behavior. This paper investigates the spillover effects of charitable subsidies on voting behavior using four surveys of charitable giving in the United States conducted from 1992 to 2001. Understanding the relationship between these two prosocial behaviors may be quite important given the ongoing debates about designing alternative policies to increase voter turnout rates. The results show that charitable giving and voting are complements. Increasing the price of giving not only decreases the probability of giving and contribution amount but also the probability of voting in presidential elections with an implied elasticity of the propensity of vote with respect to the tax price of giving as much as -0.4. This effect is robust under different specifications and with different sets of instrumental variables. These results highlight the positive externalities created by charitable subsidies and have important implications for economic models of voting and charitable giving.
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Jirí Navrátil (Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University)
    Abstract: Starting point of this paper is alleged weakness of civil society in Central-Eastern European countries as often demonstrated by sparse organizational infrastructure, low membership in civil society organizations (CSOs), or insufficient community activism and privatism of citizens in these countries. This paper focuses on the Czech Republic and claims, first, that there is a considerable discrepancy in the citizens´ engagement in organized civil society activities depending on whether these are perceived as political (advocacy) or not, and second, that the gap between organized and individual engagement within the field of civil advocacy does not necessarily stem (only) from the “legacy of communism” but (also) from the dissidents´ conception of “non-political” civil society. The paper deals with the empirical analysis of EVS data, original survey data (N=800), and focus group interviews. It aims at understanding what the motives of citizens and advocacy CSOs for keeping their distance are. Furthermore, the paper attempts to sketch more general causes of this disconnectedness through illustrating the roots of the conflict between the categories of collective/individual and political/ethical in the Czech history of thinking about civil society.
    Keywords: Civil society, democracy, civil participation, non-governmental organizations, Czech Republic.
    JEL: D72 L31
    Date: 2012–12
  4. By: Soeren Enkelmann (Department of Economics, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This is one of the first studies to estimate a popularity function at the micro-level. Using German micro-level data (GGSS/ALLBUS) for the years 1991, 1992, 1998, and 2008, we show that a positive assessment of the economy significantly improves government popularity while negative evaluations decrease satisfaction with the government. Voters take the (current and expected) national and personal economic situation into account. We find no evidence for a grievance asymmetry, i.e. voters punish the government for a bad economy but also reward them in good times. Finally, we show that popularity functions are only very crude proxies for vote functions, with the latter being mostly driven by party identification.
    Keywords: vote function, popularity function, micro data, Germany
    JEL: D72 H11
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Jordi Blanes i Vidal; Marc Möller
    Abstract: We use a mechanism-design approach to study a team whose members choose a joint project and exert individual efforts to execute it. Members have private information about the qualities of alternative projects. Information sharing is obstructed by a trade-off between adaptation and motivation. We determine the conditions under which first-best project and effort choices are implementable and show that these conditions can become relaxed as the team grows in size. This contrasts with the common argument (based on free-riding) that efficiency is harder to achieve in larger teams. We also characterize the second-best mechanism and find that decision-making may be biased either in favor or against the team's initially preferred alternative.
    Keywords: teams, adaptation, motivation, decision–making, incentives
    JEL: D02 D23 L29
    Date: 2013–05
  6. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Conflict and Development - Post Conflict Reconstruction Governance - National Governance Banks and Banking Reform Governance - Governance Indicators Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2013–01
  7. By: Stephen Hansen; Michael McMahon
    Abstract: In many areas of economics there is a growing interest in how expertise and preferences drive individual and group decision making under uncertainty. Increasingly, we wish to estimate such models to quantify which of these drive decision making. In this paper we propose a new channel through which we can empirically identify expertise and preference parameters by using variation in decisions over heterogeneous priors. Relative to existing estimation approaches, our "Prior-Based Identification" extends the possible environments which can be estimated, and also substantially improves the accuracy and precision of estimates in those environments which can be estimated using existing methods.
    Keywords: Bayesian decision making, expertise, preferences, estimation
    JEL: D72 D81 C13
    Date: 2013–05
  8. By: Subhasish M. Chowdhury (University of East Anglia, Norwich); Dongryul Lee (Department of Economics, Sungshin University, Seoul); Roman M. Sheremeta (Chapman University)
    Abstract: We analyze a group contest in which n groups compete to win a group-specific public good prize. Group sizes can be different and any player may value the prize differently within and across groups. Players exert costly efforts simultaneously and independently. Only the highest effort (the best-shot) within each group represents the group effort that determines the winning group. We fully characterize the set of equilibria and show that in any equilibrium at most one player in each group exerts strictly positive effort. There always exists an equilibrium in which only the highest value player in each active group exerts strictly positive effort. However, perverse equilibria may exist in which the highest value players completely free-ride on others by exerting no effort. We provide conditions under which the set of equilibria can be restricted and discuss contest design implications.
    Keywords: best-shot technology; group contest; group-specific public goods; free-riding
    JEL: C72 D70 D72 H41
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Pablo Lucas (Geary Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland and Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands); Issam Malki (Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Economics, England)
    Abstract: This paper presents an alternative interpretation of an experimental public goods game dataset, particularly on the understanding of the observed antisocial behaviour phenomenon between subjects around the world. The anonymous nature of contributions and punishments are taken into account to reinterpret the experimental results by analysing dynamic behaviour in terms of mean contributions across societies and their association with antisocial punishment. Thus, by also taking into account the heterogeneity between the experimented cities, the analysis contrasts with the interpretation of one trend across cities, as the findings indicate two opposite trends in differentgroups of cities.
    Keywords: Behavioural economics, experimental public goods, game dataset
    JEL: D03
    Date: 2013–05–15
  10. By: Juan C. Duque; Michael Jetter; Santiago Sosa
    Abstract: What leads the United Nations Security Council to intervene in one conflict, but remain inactive in others of similar magnitude and cruelty? This paper analyzes all registered 178 internal and internationalized internal conflicts since 1945, with the goal to unveil what determines the probability of a UN intervention. Our main focus lies on the question whether the geographical proximity to the ve permanent members of the UN Security Council (China,France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) has an e ect on the probability of intervention. Our results suggest that the UN is substantially more likely to intervene in conflicts located in Europe. A more detailed look at distances revels that for every 1,000 kilometers of distance from France or the United Kingdom the probability of intervention decreases by about one third. Further, we nd that UN intervention is signi cantly more likely to happen in smaller (less population), poorer (smaller GDP per capita), and less open economies (openness to international trade).
    Date: 2013–04–13

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