New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2013‒06‒16
twenty papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Pandering, Faith and Electoral Competition. By Gabriele Gratton
  2. Vote Self-Prediction Hardly Predicts Who Will Vote, and Is (Misleadingly) Unbiased By Rogers, Todd; Aida, Masa
  3. Scoring Rules: A Game-Theoretical Analysis. By Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni; Carlos Pimienta
  4. Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation By Campante, Filipe; Durante, Ruben; Sobbrio, Francesco
  5. A re-characterization of the Kemeny distance By Storcken A.J.A.; Can B.
  6. Can Inaccurate Beliefs about Incumbents be Changed? And Can Reframing Change Votes? By Rogers, Todd; Nickerson, David W.
  7. Redistribution and the political support of free entry policy in the Schumpeterian model with heterogenous agents By Dmitry A. Veselov
  8. The Sound of Silence: Anti-Defamation Law and Political Corruption By Gabriele Gratton
  9. Arabs Want Redistribution, So Why Don't They Vote Left? Theory and Evidence from Egypt By Masoud, Tarek
  10. A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection By John Duggan
  11. Democracy, Dictatorship and the Cultural Transmission of Political Values By Davide Ticchi; Thierry Verdier; Andrea Vindigni
  12. Tangible Temptation in the Social Dilemma: Cash, cooperation, and self-control By Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.; Riener, Gerhard; Wollbrant, Conny
  13. Empirical properties of group preference aggregation methods employed in AHP. Theory and evidence By Michele Bernasconi; Christine Choirat; Raffaello Seri
  14. Distance rationalizability of scoring rules By Can B.
  15. Endogenous group formation in experimental contests By Herbst, Luisa; Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian
  16. Anonymous Social Influence By Manuel Förster; Michel Grabisch; Agnieszka Rusinowsk
  17. From collective bargaining to political action: trade union responses to precarious employment in the Slovak Republic By Monika Martišková; Marta Kahancová
  18. Determinants of Decentralization within the Firm: Some Empirical Evidence from Spanish Small and Medium- Sized Enterprise By Pérez, Jessica Helen; Iranzo Sancho, Susana
  19. Exit Options and the Allocation of Authority By Bester, Helmut; Krähmer, Daniel
  20. Bottom-Up Strategic Linking of Carbon Markets: Which Climate Coalitions Would Farsighted Players Form? By Jobst Heitzig

  1. By: Gabriele Gratton (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We study an election with two perfectly informed candidates. Voters share common values over the policy outcome of the election, but possess arbitrarily little information about which policy is best for them. Voters elect one of the candidates, effectively choosing between the two policies proposed by the candidates. We explore under which conditions candidates always propose the ex-post optimal policy for the voters. The model is extended to include strategic voting, policy-motivated candidates, imperfectly informed candidates, and heterogeneous preferences.
    Keywords: pandering; elections; information aggregation
    JEL: D72 D82
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Rogers, Todd (Harvard University and Analyst Institute, Washington, DC); Aida, Masa (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research)
    Abstract: Public opinion researchers, campaigns, and political scientists often rely on self-predicted vote to measure political engagement, allocate resources, and forecast turnout. Despite its importance, little research has examined the accuracy of self-predicted vote responses. Seven pre-election surveys with post-election vote validation from three elections (N = 29,403) reveal several patterns. First, many self-predicted voters do not actually vote (flake-out). Second, many self-predicted nonvoters do actually vote (flake-in). This is the first robust measurement of flake-in. Third, actual voting is more accurately predicted by past voting (from voter file or recalled) than by self-predicted voting. Finally, self-predicted voters differ from actual voters demographically. Actual voters are more likely to be white (and not black), older, and partisan than actual nonvoters (i.e., participatory bias), but self-predicted voters and self-predicted nonvoters do not differ much. Vote self-prediction is "biased" in that it misleadingly suggests that there is no participatory bias.
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Francesco De Sinopoli (University of Verona); Giovanna Iannantuoni (University of Milano-Bicocca); Carlos Pimienta (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We prove two results on the generic determinacy of Nash equilibrium in voting games. The first one is for negative plurality games. The second one is for approval games under the condition that the number of candidates is equal to three. These results are combined with the analogous one obtained in De Sinopoli (2001) for plurality rule to show that, for generic utilities, three of the most well-known scoring rules, plurality, negative plurality and approval, induce finite sets of equilibrium outcomes in their corresponding derived games—at least when the number of candidates is equal to three. This is a necessary requirement for the development of a systematic comparison amongst these three voting rules and a useful aid to compute the stable sets of equilibria (Mertens, 1989) of the induced voting games. To conclude, we provide some examples of voting environments with three candidates where we carry out this this comparison.
    Keywords: Approval voting, Plurality voting, Negative plurality, Sophisticated voting, Mertens Stability
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Campante, Filipe (Harvard University); Durante, Ruben (Sciences Po); Sobbrio, Francesco (European University Institute, Florence)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of the diffusion of high-speed Internet on different forms of political participation, using data from Italy. We exploit differences in the availability of ADSL broadband technology across municipalities, using the exogenous variation induced by the fact that the cost of providing ADSL-based Internet services in a given municipality depends on its relative position in the pre-existing voice telecommunications infrastructure. We first show that broadband Internet had a substantial negative effect on turnout in parliamentary elections between 1996 and 2008. However, we also find that it was positively associated with other forms of political participation, both online and offline: the emergence of local online grassroots protest movements, and turnout in national referenda (largely opposed by mainstream parties). We then show that the negative effect of Internet on turnout in parliamentary elections is essentially reversed after 2008, when the local grassroots movements coalesce into the Five-Star Movement (M5S) electoral list. Our findings are consistent with the view that: 1) the effect of Internet availability on political participation changes across different forms of engagement; 2) it also changes over time, as new political actors emerge who can take advantage of the new technology to tap into the existence of a disenchanted or demobilized contingent of voters; and 3) these new forms of mobilization eventually feed back into the mainstream electoral process, converting "exit" back into "voice".
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Storcken A.J.A.; Can B. (GSBE)
    Abstract: The well-known swap distance (Kemeny (1959); Kendall (1938); Hamming (1950)) is analyzed. On weak preferences, this function was characterized by Kemeny (1959) with five conditions; metric, betweenness, neutrality, reducibility, and normalization. We show that the same result can be achieved without the reducibility condition, therefore, the original five conditions are not logically independent. We provide a new and logically independent characterization of the Kemeny distance and provide some insight to further analyze distance functions on preferences.
    Keywords: Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement; Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations; Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior;
    JEL: D63 D71 D72
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Rogers, Todd (Harvard University); Nickerson, David W. (University of Notre Dame)
    Abstract: Can independent groups change voters' beliefs about an incumbent's positions? And, does reframing how candidates' are perceived by changing beliefs about their positions influence actual vote choices? Past laboratory and observational research suggests that candidate reframing is difficult and of little consequence because the messages must be believed despite competing messages, counter-framing and misinformation. We report the results of a field experiment conducted during a highly competitive 2008 US Senate election showing that independent organizations can meaningfully reframe candidates, and that reframing can affect vote choice. Two pro-choice organizations administered an inexpensive mail and phone intervention correcting a prevalent false belief that the incumbent was pro-choice. This modest reframing intervention enduringly corrected the beliefs of one-third of misinformed participants, and induced a sizable proportion to align their vote choices with their policy priorities.
    Date: 2013–05
  7. By: Dmitry A. Veselov (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory of Macroeconomic Analysis)
    Abstract: We consider the problem of finding sufficient conditions for political support of liberal, growth-enhancing policy in a quality-ladders model with heterogeneous agents differing in their endowment of wealth and skills. The policy set is two-dimensional: Agents vote for the level of redistribution as well as for the level of entry barriers preventing the creation of more efficient firms. We show that under the majority voting rule there are three possible stable political outcomes: full redistribution and low barriers to entry ("liberal" order), high redistribution and high barriers to entry ("corporatism"). We show that key variables determining the political outcome are the expected gain from technological adoption, the ratio of total profits to total wages, and the skewness of human capital distribution.
    Keywords: Barriers to entry; majority voting; quality-ladders model; wealth inequality; talent inequality; economic growth
    Date: 2013–05
  8. By: Gabriele Gratton (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: Voters use the press to keep politicians accountable. By endogenizing the response of the voters, this paper provides a theoretical foundation to disentangle the effects of media regulation on corruption and clarify under which circumstances regulation reduces or increases corruption. The analysis shows that libel laws can reduce political corruption only if the moral hazard problem dominates adverse selection and the punishment for the defamer is large enough to deter the publication of well-founded scandals. In this case, libel laws act as a substitute for an optimal re-election rule to which voters commit ex ante.
    Keywords: media and democracy; corruption; defamation; chilling effect.
    JEL: D7 K4
    Date: 2013–04
  9. By: Masoud, Tarek (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Though Egyptian voters clearly evince a desire for Islamic law (however defined), public opinion research shows that they also want robust welfare states and significant redistribution. Though the application of Islamic law is the special province of Islamist parties, it is left-leaning, labor-based parties who are the primary champions of the economic policies that Egyptians seem to desire. Why, then, do Egyptian voters select the former over the latter? This article argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the bureaucratic and organizational shortcomings of leftist parties, but in the ways in which the social landscape shapes the opportunities of parties in newly democratized systems to reach potential voters. Dense networks of religious solidary organizations, in which Islamist activists are often embedded, and which encompass large numbers of voters, provide Islamist parties with opportunities for linkage that are unavailable to leftists, who are embedded in much more limited networks of labor activism. As a result, despite the fact that Islamist attitudes toward redistribution and the state's role in providing welfare are more ambiguous than those of leftists, Islamist candidates have far greater opportunities to convince voters that they in fact share their economic views. The theory is tested with a combination of aggregate and individual evidence from Egypt after the Arab Spring.
    Date: 2013–04
  10. By: John Duggan (W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy, 107 Harkness Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0158)
    Abstract: I establish a folk theorem for a model of repeated elections with adverse selection: when citizens are sufficiently patient, arbitrary policy paths through arbitrarily large regions of the policy space can be supported by a refinement of perfect Bayesian equilibrium. Politicians are policy-motivated (so office benefits cannot be used to incentivize policy choices), the policy space is one-dimensional (limiting the dimensionality of the set of utility imputations), and politicians’ preferences are private information (so punishments cannot be targeted to a specific type). The equilibrium construction relies critically on differentiability and strict concavity of citizens’ utility functions. An extension of the arguments allows policy paths to depend on the office holder’s type, subject to incentive compatibility constraints.
    Date: 2013–05
  11. By: Davide Ticchi; Thierry Verdier; Andrea Vindigni
    Abstract: We develop a theory of endogenous regimes transitions (with a focus on democratic consolidation), which emphasizes the role of political culture and of its interaction with political institutions. Political culture re?flects the extent of individual commitment across citizens to defend democracy against a potential military coup, and it is an endogenous state variable of the model along with formal political institutions. We focus on two agencies of political socialization: the family and the state. Parents invest resources in order to transmit their own political values (commitment to democracy) to their children. The state invests resources in public indoctrination infrastructures. The model displays two-way complementarities between political regimes and political culture diffusion. Consolidated democracy emerges when sufficiently many people are committed to democracy. Otherwise the model features persistent ?uctuations in and out of democracy as well as cycles of political culture. Importantly, the politico-economic equilibrium may exhibit a persistent (although declining) incongruence between political institutions and political culture, which tends to evolve more slowly than formal institutions.
    Keywords: political culture, socialization, democracy, military, nondemocracy, politi- cal economy, political transitions, institutional consolidation, path dependency.
    JEL: P16 H11 H26 H41
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Riener, Gerhard (DICE, University of Düsseldorf); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The social dilemma may contain, within the individual, a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and better judgment to cooperate. Examining the argument from the perspective of temptation, we pair the public good game with treatments that vary the degree to which money is abstract (merely numbers on-screen) or tangible (tokens or cash). We also include psychometric measures of self-control and impulsivity. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find in the treatments that render money more tangible a stronger positive association between cooperation and self-control—and a stronger negative association between cooperation and impulsivity. Our results shed light on the conditions under which self-control matters for cooperation.
    Keywords: Self-control; Pro-social behavior; Public good experiment; Temptation
    JEL: D01 D03 D64 D70
    Date: 2013–06–07
  13. By: Michele Bernasconi (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Christine Choirat (Department of Quantitative Methods, School of Economics and Business Management, Universidad de Navarra.); Raffaello Seri (Dipartimento di Economia, Università dell'Insubria.)
    Abstract: We study various methods of aggregating individual judgments and individual priorities in group decision making with the AHP. The focus is on the empirical properties of the various methods, mainly on the extent to which the various aggregation methods represent an accurate approximation of the priority vector of interest. We identify five main classes of aggregation procedures which provide identical or very similar empirical expressions for the vectors of interest. We also propose a method to decompose in the AHP response matrix distortions due to random errors and perturbations caused by cognitive bias predicted by the mathematical psychology literature. We test the decomposition with experimental data and find that perturbations in group decision making caused by cognitive distortions are more important than those caused by random errors. We propose methods to correct systematic distortions.
    Keywords: group decisions, matrix differentials, separable representations, cognitive distortions.
    JEL: C44
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Can B. (GSBE)
    Abstract: Collective decision making problems can be seen as finding an outcome that is closest to aconcept of consensus. Nitzan 1981 introduced Closeness to Unanimity Procedure as a first example to this approach and showed that the Borda rule is the closest to unanimity under swap distance a.k.a the Kemeny 1959 distance. Meskanen and Nurmi 2008 shows that the Dodgson rule is the closest to Condorcet under swap distance. Elkind et al. 2009, 2012 generalized this concept as distance-rationalizability, where being close is measured via various distance functions and with many concepts of consensus, e.g., unanimity, Condorcet etc. In this paper, we show that all non-degenerate scoring rules can be distance-rationalized as Closeness to Unanimity procedures under a class of weighted distance functions introduced in Can 2012. Therefore, the results herein generalizes, partly, the results in Nitzan 1981 and complements the extensive findings in Elkind et al. 2009.
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Herbst, Luisa; Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian
    Abstract: We study endogenous group formation in tournaments employing experimental threeplayer contests. We find that players in endogenously formed alliances cope better with the moral hazard problem in groups than players who are forced into an alliance. Also, players who are committed to expending effort above average choose to stand alone. If these players are forced to play in an alliance, they invest even more, whereas their co-players choose lower effort. Anticipation of this exploitation may explain their preference to stand alone. -- Wir untersuchen die endogene Bildung von Gruppen in Wettkämpfen in experimentellen Drei-Spieler-Wettbewerben. Es zeigt sich, dass Spieler in endogen gebildeten Allianzen besser mit dem Moral Hazard-Problem in Gruppen zurechtkommen als Spieler, die in eine Allianz gezwungen werden. Außerdem entscheiden sich Spieler, die bereit sind, überdurchschnittlichen Einsatz zu leisten, allein zu agieren. Sind diese Spieler gezwungen in einer Allianz zu spielen, investieren sie sogar mehr, wogegen ihre Mitspieler ihren Einsatz reduzieren. Die Erwartung dieser Ausbeutung ist eine mögliche Erklärung für ihre Präferenz allein zu agieren.
    Keywords: endogenous group formation,contest,conflict,alliance,experiment,moral hazard problem,free-riding,in-group favoritis
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Manuel Förster (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France, Université catholique de Louvain – CORE, Belgium); Michel Grabisch (Paris School of Economics – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France); Agnieszka Rusinowsk (Paris School of Economics – CNRS Centre d’Économie de la Sorbonne, France)
    Abstract: We study a stochastic model of influence where agents have “yes” or “no” inclinations on some issue, and opinions may change due to mutual influence among the agents. Each agent independently aggregates the opinions of the other agents and possibly herself. We study influence processes modelled by ordered weighted averaging operators, which are anonymous: they only depend on how many agents share an opinion. For instance, this allows to study situations where the influence process is based on majorities, which are not covered by the classical approach of weighted averaging aggregation. We find a necessary and sufficient condition for convergence to consensus and characterize outcomes where the society ends up polarized. Our results can also be used to understand more general situations, where ordered weighted averaging operators are only used to some extent. We provide an analysis of the speed of convergence and the possible outcomes of the process. Furthermore, we apply our results to fuzzy linguistic quantifiers, i.e., expressions like “most” or “at least a few”.
    Keywords: Influence, Anonymity, Ordered Weighted Averaging Operator, Convergence, Consensus, Speed Of Convergence, Fuzzy Linguistic Quantifier
    JEL: C7 D7 D85
    Date: 2013–05
  17. By: Monika Martišková; Marta Kahancová
    Date: 2013–05–28
  18. By: Pérez, Jessica Helen; Iranzo Sancho, Susana
    Abstract: This paper examines empirically the determinants of decentralization of decision- making in the firm for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that tend to be highly centralized. By decentralization of decisions we mean the delegation of decision rights from the owner or manager to the plant supervisor or even to floor workers. Our findings show that the allocation of authority to basic workers or a team of workers depends on firm characteristics such as firm size, the use of internal networks or the number of workplaces, and workers characteristics, in particular, the composition of the laborforce in terms of education and seniority and whether or not workers receive pay incentives. External factors such as the intensity of competition and the firm s export intensity are also important determinants of the allocation of authority.
    Keywords: Empreses petites i mitjanes, Empreses -- Presa de decisions, 33 - Economia,
    Date: 2012
  19. By: Bester, Helmut; Krähmer, Daniel
    Abstract: We analyze the optimal allocation of authority in an organization whose members have conflicting preferences. One party has decision-relevant private information, and the party who obtains authority decides in a self-interested way. As a novel element in the literature on decision rights, we consider exit option contracts: the party without decision rights is entitled to prematurely terminate the relation after the other party's choice. We show that under such a contract it is always optimal to assign authority to the informed and not to the uninformed party, irrespective of the parties' conflict of interest. Indeed, the first-best efficient solution can be obtained by such a contract.
    Keywords: Authority; decision rights; exit options; incomplete contracts; asymmetric information
    JEL: D23 D82 D86
    Date: 2013–03–13
  20. By: Jobst Heitzig (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods)
    Abstract: We present typical scenarios and general insights from a novel dynamic model of farsighted climate coalition formation involving market linkage and cap coordination, using a simple analytical model of the underlying cost-benefit structure. In our model, the six major emitters of CO2 can link domestic cap-and-trade systems to form one or several international carbon markets, and can either choose their emissions caps non-cooperatively or form a hierarchy of cap-coordinating coalitions inside each market. Based on individual and collective rationality and an assumed distribution of bargaining power, we derive scenarios of such a climate coalition formation process which show that a first-best state with a coordinated global carbon market might well emerge bottom-up, and underline the importance of coordinating caps immediately when linking carbon markets. Surprisingly, the process tends to involve less uncertainty when agreements can be terminated unanimously or unilaterally, depending on the level of farsightedness.
    Keywords: Climate Policy, International Environmental Agreements, Cap and Trade, Coalition Formation, Farsightedness
    JEL: D85 Q5
    Date: 2013–05

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