New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2013‒11‒02
nineteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. It's the occupation, stupid! Explaining candidates' success in low-information elections By Mario Mechtel
  2. The Dynamics of Delegated Decision Making By Kevin Roberts
  3. A Dynamic Duverger's Law By Jean Guillaume Forand; Vikram Maheshri
  4. Alternating or compensating? An experimentrepeated sequential best shot game By Lisa Bruttel; Werner Güth
  5. Teams punish less By Auerswald, Heike; Schmidt, Carsten; Thum, Marcel; Torsvik, Gaute
  6. Signaling Competence in Elections By Honryo, Takakazu
  7. Conflict and Social and Political Preferences: Evidence from World War II and Civil Conflict in 35 European countries By Pauline Grosjean
  8. Questions guiding the choice of a multicriteria decision aiding method By Bernard Roy; Roman Slowinski
  10. Trust and manipulation in social networks By FORSTER, Manuel; MAULEON, Ana; VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent
  11. Individuals, Teams and Hometowns in an Experimental Market in China By Xiangdong Qin; Junyi Shen; Ken-Ichi Shimomura; Takehiko Yamato
  12. Tit for Others' Tat Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma Experiments with Third-Party Monitoring and Indirect Punishment By Lisa Bruttel; Werner Güth
  13. Political Learning and Officials’ Motivations: An Empirical Analysis of the Education Reform in the State of São Paulo By Thomaz M. F. Gemignani; Ricardo de Abreu Madeira
  14. Social Centipedes: the Impact of Group Identity on Preferences and Reasoning By Le Coq, Chloe; Tremewan, James; Wagner, Alexander K.
  15. Group Conflicts. Where do we stand? By Kolmar, Martin
  16. The Transmission of Sustainable Harvesting Norms When Agents Are Conditionally Cooperative By Andries Richter; Johan Grasman
  17. Incentives and creativity in groups By Ramm, Joachim; Tjøtta, Sigve; Torsvik, Gaute
  18. Becoming “We” Instead of “I”, Identity Management and Incentives in the Workplace. By Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes
  19. Multimodal, efficient transportation in airports and collaborative decision making By Aude Marzuoli; Isabelle Laplace; Éric Féron

  1. By: Mario Mechtel (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)
    Abstract: Do voters use ballot paper information on the personal characteristics of political candidates as cues in low-information elections? Using a unique dataset containing 4423 political candidates from recent elections in Germany, we show that candidates’ occupations do play an important role in their electoral success. The occupational impact is far greater than gender or doctoral degree effects for a large number of occupations. We discuss three possible explanations for these “occupational effects”: (a) an occupation’s public reputation, (b) the extent to which individuals carrying out certain occupations are known within their communities, and (c) occupation specific competence related to issues relevant for local politics. Looking at polls on the reputation/ prestige of certain jobs, we find a strong correlation between an occupation’s reputation and the electoral success of a candidate carrying out this occupation. Therefore, voters appear to use occupational reputation as a cue in low-information elections.
    Keywords: political economy, low-information elections, informational shortcuts, occupational reputation
    JEL: D72 D7
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Kevin Roberts
    Abstract: This paper investigates the behaviour of bodies or organizations, operating in a stochastic environment, where there is a delegated decision maker.��A crucial decision is when to delegate to another decision maker.� The problem may be intrapersonal, as occurs when there are endogenously changing tastes, or interpersonal where delegation is intuitionally necessay or where decison making is 'as if' there is delegation.� This is possible if decision making is through voting - an existence theorem is given.� Decisions lead to shifts in control involving option losses; forward-looking recognition of this leads to the endogenous creation of hysteresis.� The fact that the behaviour of other agents leads to hysteresis makes it optimal for any single agent to introduce more hysteresis.� Organisations or bodies with many possible decision makers operate, in subsets of the state space, in one of two regimes, one where hysteresis is small and the other where hysteresis is large.
    Keywords: Dynamic Voting, collective decisions, delegation, endogenous preferences, hysteresis
    JEL: D1 D2 D7
    Date: 2013–10–15
  3. By: Jean Guillaume Forand (University of Waterloo); Vikram Maheshri (University of Houston)
    Abstract: Electoral systems promote strategic voting and aect party systems. Duverger (1951) proposed that plurality rule leads to bi-partyism and proportional representation leads to multi-partyism. We show that in a dynamic setting, these static eects also lead to a higher option value for existing minor parties under plurality rule, so their incentive to exit the party system is mitigated by their future benefits from continued participation. The predictions of our model are consistent with multiple cross-sectional predictions on the comparative number of parties under plurality rule and proportional representation. In particular, there could be more parties under plurality rule than under proportional representation at any point in time. However, our model makes a unique time-series prediction: the number of parties under plurality rule should be less variable than under proportional representation. We provide extensive empirical evidence in support of these results.
    Keywords: Duverger's Law, Electoral Competition, Dynamic Political Economy
    JEL: H1
    Date: 2013–10–22
  4. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Konstanz, Department of Economics); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)
    Abstract: In the two-person sequential best shot game, first player 1 contributes to a public good and then player 2 is informed about this choice before contributing. The payoff from the public good is the same for both players and depends only on the maximal contribution. Efficient voluntary cooperation in the repeated best shot game therefore requires that only one player should contribute in a given round. To provide better chances for such cooperation, we enrich the sequential best shot base game by a third stage allowing the party with the lower contribution to transfer some of its periodic gain to the other party. Participants easily establish cooperation in the finitely repeated game. When cooperation evolves, it mostly takes the form of "labor division," with one participant constantly contributing and the other constantly compensating. However, in a treatment in which compensation is not possible, (more or less symmetric) alternating occurs frequently and turns out to be almost as efficient as labor division.
    Keywords: best shot game, coordination, transfer, experiment
    JEL: C71 C73 C91
    Date: 2013–10–25
  5. By: Auerswald, Heike (Faculty of Business and Economics, Technical University Dresden); Schmidt, Carsten (University of Mannheim); Thum, Marcel (Faculty of Business and Economics, Technical University Dresden,); Torsvik, Gaute (University of Bergen)
    Abstract: Many decisions in politics and business are made by teams rather than by single individuals. In contrast, economic models typically assume an individual rational decision maker. A rapidly growing body of (experimental) literature investigates team decisions in different settings. We study team decisions in a public goods contribution game with a costly punishment option and compare it to the behavior of individuals in a laboratory experiment. We also consider different team decision-making rules (unanimity, majority). We find that teams contribute significantly more and punish less than individuals, regardless of the team decision rule. Overall, teams yield higher payoffs than individuals.
    Keywords: Group Decision Making; Public Good; Experiment; Punishment
    JEL: H54 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2013–10–18
  6. By: Honryo, Takakazu
    Abstract: We analyze how political candidates can signal their competence and show that polarization might be a way of doing this. For this purpose, we study a unidimensional Hotelling-Downs model of electoral competition in which a fraction of candidates have the ability to correctly observe a policy-relevant state of the world. We show that candidates tend to polarize, even in the absence of policy bias. This is because proposing an extreme platform has a competence signaling effect and has a strictly higher probability of winning than proposing a median platform. The degree of polarization depends on how uncertain is the state of the world.
    Date: 2013–10–04
  7. By: Pauline Grosjean (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper uses new micro-level evidence from a nationally representative survey of 39,500 individuals in 35 countries to shed light on how individual experiences of conflict shape political and social preferences. The investigation covers World War II and recent civil conflict. Overwhelmingly, the results point to the negative and enduring legacy of war-related violence on political trust and perceived effectiveness of national institutions, although the effects are heterogeneous across different types (external vs. internal) and outcomes (victory vs. defeat) of conflict. Conflict spurs collective action, but of a dark nature, one associated with further erosion of social and political trust.
    Keywords: Conflict, social capital, state capacity, Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia
    JEL: N24 O57 Z13
    Date: 2013–10
  8. By: Bernard Roy (LAMSADE - Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision - CNRS : UMR7024 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine); Roman Slowinski (IDSS Lab - Intelligent Decision Support System Laboratory - Université de Technologie de Poznan)
    Abstract: We formulate some questions that may help an analyst to choose a multicriteria decision aiding method well adapted to the decision context. These questions take into account several aspects of the decision process and of the cooperation between the analyst and the decision maker. We present these questions in a hierarchical order, from the most general and crucial, through other pertinent questions concerning the multicriteria aggregation, to the secondary ones. The initial question is what type of results the method is expected to bring. The next questions concern requirements on preference scales, acquisition of preference information, handling of imperfect knowledge, acceptance of compensation among criteria, and existence of interaction among criteria. The last questions are about intelligibility, axiomatic characterization, and weaknesses of the considered methods. To illustrate these questions, we introduce twelve representative and realistic decision contexts.
    Keywords: Decision process, Multicriteria decision aiding, Analyst, Decision maker
    Date: 2013–06–01
  9. By: Sophia El Kerdini (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris); Sophie Hooge (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the first stages of the innovation process within the Fuzzy Front End activities and illustrates the contribution of creativity in strategic foresight activities through the analysis of a collaborative research led in partnership with the dedicated team of a global French carmaker. The paper investigates the findings of the literature to highlights the importance of the individual level toward the collective collaboration in futures studies and in particular in the strategic foresight activities. We shed light on the issue to build a conceptual collective framework that enables to explore the unknown. Main managerial implications of such framework are twofold: 1/ in structuring new and shared knowledge and 2/ in expliciting the benefits of joined creativity and strategic foresight.
    Keywords: strategic foresight, conceptual framework, creativity
    Date: 2013–04–19
  10. By: FORSTER, Manuel (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; CES, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France); MAULEON, Ana (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; CEREC, Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles, Belgium); VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; CEREC, Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles, Belgium)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of manipulation in a model of opinion formation where agents have opinions about some common question of interest. Agents repeatedly communicate with their neighbors in the social network, can exert some effort to manipulate the trust of others, and update their opinions taking weighted averages of neighbors’ opinions. The incentives to manipulate are given by the agents’ preferences. We show that manipulation can modify the trust structure and lead to a connected society, and thus, make the society reaching a consensus. Manipulation fosters opinion leadership, but the manipulated agent may even gain influence on the long-run opinions. In sufficiently homophilic societies, manipulation accelerates (slows down) convergence if it decreases (increases) homophily. Finally, we investigate the tension between information aggregation and spread of misinformation. We find that if the ability of the manipulating agent is weak and the agents underselling (overselling) their information gain (lose) overall influence, then manipulation reduces misinformation and agents converge jointly to more accurate opinions about some underlying true state.
    Keywords: social networks, trust, manipulation, opinion leadership, consensus, wisdom of crowds
    JEL: D83 D85 Z13
    Date: 2013–09–23
  11. By: Xiangdong Qin (School of Economics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China); Junyi Shen (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan); Ken-Ichi Shimomura (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan); Takehiko Yamato (Department of Social Engineering, Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
    Abstract: Several papers have documented that individual decision-making and team or group decision-making differ in a broad range of economic situations. We conducted a market experiment in China to examine potential differences between team and individual trades, and potential effects of subjects’ hometowns on their behaviors. Our results revealed that increasing group size from one-person to two-person strengthened the bargaining power of subjects from coastal areas but weakened that of subjects from inland areas when commodity exchanges were conducted between subjects from different areas.
    Keywords: Market experiment, Team trade, Individual trade, Hometown, China
    JEL: C91 C92 D51
    Date: 2013–10
  12. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Konstanz, Department of Economics); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)
    Abstract: Two pairs of two participants each interact repeatedly in two structurally independent but informationally linked Prisoner's Dilemma games. Neither pair receives feedback about past choices by their own partner but is fully informed about the choices by the other pair. Considering this as a four-person infinite horizon game allows for Folk-Theorem-like voluntary cooperation. We ask whether monitoring and indirect punishment with the help of others are comparable to direct monitoring and punishment in establishing and maintaining voluntary cooperation. The treatment effects we find are rather weak. Others' monitoring of own activities is only an insufficient substitute for direct observability.
    Keywords: prisoner's dilemma, monitoring, experiment
    JEL: C73 C91 D82 D84
    Date: 2013–10–18
  13. By: Thomaz M. F. Gemignani; Ricardo de Abreu Madeira
    Abstract: We investigate the occurence of social learning among government officials in a context of decentralization of political responsibilities - the schooling decentralization reform of the state of São Paulo - and use it to analyze officials' motivations driving the adhesion to that program. We explore how the information exchange about the newly adopted tasks is configured and which aspects about the returns of decentralization are mostly valued by officials in their learning process. In particular, we try to determine to what extent the adhesion to the reform was due to electoral motivations or, rather, to concerns about the quality of public education provision. We present evidence that social learning configures a relevant factor in the reform implementation and find that mayors are more likely to adhere to the program upon the receipt of good news about the electoral returns of decentralization. On the other hand, experiences by information neighbors that turn out to be successful in improving the public provision seem to be ignored in mayors' decisions for decentralization. The argument for electoral motivations is further supported by evidence that officials tend to be more responsive to information transmitted by neighbors affiliated to the same party as their own.
    Keywords: Electoral Incentives; Learning; Decentralization
    JEL: D78 D83 I28
    Date: 2013–10–22
  14. By: Le Coq, Chloe (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Tremewan, James (Department of Economics, University of Vienna (Austria)); Wagner, Alexander K. (Department of Economics, University of Cologne (Germany))
    Abstract: Using a group identity manipulation we examine the role of social preferences in an experimental one-shot centipede game. Contrary to what social preference theory would predict, we find that players continue longer when playing with outgroup members. Our explanation rests on two observations: (i) players should only stop if they are sufficiently confident that their partner will stop at the next node, given the exponentially-increasing payoffs in the game, and (ii) players are more likely to have this degree of certainty if they are matched with someone from the same group, whom they view as similar to themselves and thus predictable. We find strong statistical support for this argument. We conclude that group identity not only impacts a player’s utility function, as identified in earlier research, but also affects her reasoning about the partner’s behavior.
    Keywords: Group identity; centipede game; prospective reference theory
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D83
    Date: 2013–09–30
  15. By: Kolmar, Martin
    Abstract: This article summarizes the major findings from the economic and socio-biological theories of group conflicts and contrasts them with findings from sociology and social psychology, especially the relationship between group size and group success. The predictive power of some of the results of economic group-conflict models for behavior in laboratory experiments is relatively poor if one assumes that individuals are self-interested. One gets systematic overinvestment compared to the theoretical predictions, which points to the fact that other-regarding references may be an important explanatory variable. This conjecture is in line with findings in evolutionary biology, social psychology, and neuroscience that all point to a close link between the structure of individual preferences and group conflicts. In fact, the evidence suggests group conflicts were constitutive for the ability of individuals to cooperate, and that this willingness to cooperate evolved in the form of parochial altruism. Building on this idea, the last part of the essay builds a bridge between parochial altruism and social identities and traces the question how social identities are constructed and what this implies for the structure of group conflicts.
    Keywords: Group conflicts, Parochial altruism, Cooperation, Social identities
    JEL: D74 H41
    Date: 2013–10
  16. By: Andries Richter (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway); Johan Grasman (and Statistical Methods, Wageningen University, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: Experimental and observational studies have highlighted the importance of agents being conditionally cooperative when facing a social dilemma. We formalize this mechanism in a theoretical model that portrays a small community having joint access to a common pool resource. The diffusion of norms of cooperation takes place via interpersonal relations, while individual agents face the temptation of higher profits by overexploiting the resource. Agents remain conditionally cooperative, unless other individuals are misbehaving already. We can observe a bubble of conditional cooperators slowly building up followed by a sudden burst, which means that a transition from a cooperative social norm to non-cooperation occurs. Interestingly, in some parameter regions alternative stable states and limit cycles arise. The latter implies that the same community goes through such a transition repeatedly over long time spans – history thus repeats itself in the form of the creation and erosion of social capital.
    Keywords: Common Pool Resource, Conditional Cooperators, Social-Ecological Complexity, Social Capital, Social Norms
    JEL: C73 D70 D64 Q20
    Date: 2013–09
  17. By: Ramm, Joachim (Minestry of Local Governmenet and Regional Development); Tjøtta, Sigve (University of Bergen); Torsvik, Gaute (University of Bergen)
    Abstract: It has been argued that monetary incentives restrain individual creativity and hamper performance in jobs requiring out of the box thinking. This paper reports from an experiment designed to test if the negative incentive effect is present also when individuals work together to solve such problems. We do not find a negative impact of incentives on group performance. As a comparison we ran the same experiment (the Candle Problem) with and without incentives for individuals as well. Incentives did not reduce performance there either. Comparing individuals with groups we find that team-work facilitates creative problems solving. Individuals appear to be more creative when working together than when working alone.
    Keywords: Incentives; innovation; creativity
    JEL: J24 J31 M11 O31
    Date: 2013–06–01
  18. By: Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes
    Abstract: This article studies how a firm fosters formal and informal interaction among its employees to create a collective identity and positively influence their effort. We develop an agency model, in which employees have both a personal and a social ideal for effort. The firm does not observe the personal ideals, which gives rise to an adverse selection problem, but can make its workforce more sensitive to the social ideal by allocating part of working hours to social interaction. We show that there are two reasons why the firm invests in social capital. First, it reinforces the effectiveness of monetary incentives. Second, by creating a shared identity in the workforce, the firm is able to reduce the adverse selection problem. We also show that the firm allocates more time to bonding activities when employees have low personal ideals for effort or when they are more heterogeneous as regards these ideals.
    Keywords: agency theory, social interaction, social norms, norm regulation.
    JEL: D2 D8 J3 M5
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Aude Marzuoli (GA TECH - Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering - Georgia Institute of Technology); Isabelle Laplace (DD - Programme transverse Développement Durable - Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile - ENAC); Éric Féron (GA TECH - Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering - Georgia Institute of Technology, MAIAA - Laboratoire de Mathématiques Appliquées, Informatique et Automatique pour l'Aérien - Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile - ENAC)
    Abstract: Be it snow, volcanic ash or strikes, crisis events impose high costs on the air transport system and society. Airlines have progressively learned to mitigate the irregular operations arising from such events through procedures such as Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) for traffic flow and airport departure management; however the passenger's door-to-door journey during difficult times often remains unpleasant. Meta-CDM (Multimodal, Efficient Transportation in Airports and Collaborative Decision Making), aims at taking a passenger-centric approach when examining how airside and landside CDM can be interlinked with other transport modes to minimize the impact of severe disruptions. In this paper, we provide a preliminary analysis of past successes and failures of passenger-centric operations, by documenting the state of the art in airport CDM, by investigating representative disruptive events and by studying the conditions of development of airport intermodality. In addition, as the success or failure of any new concept depends on which metrics it is being evaluated against, we also discuss the need of relevant KPIs to measure the success of an extended CDM concept.
    Keywords: collaborative decision making;total airport management; disruptive events;resilience;multimodality
    Date: 2013–07–08

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