New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2013‒11‒29
twenty-two papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Like biases and information in elections By Ascensi—n Andina D’az
  2. 2013 election to German Bundestag from the viewpoint of direct democracy By Tangian, Andranik S.
  3. Voter Turnout and the Size of Government By Aggeborn, Linuz
  5. Level r Consensus By Muhammad Mahajne; Oscar Volij
  6. Bargaining and Buyout By Joosung Lee
  7. Lying in Politics: Evidence from the US By Alessandro Bucciol; Luca Zarri
  8. Do more educated leaders raise citizens’ education? By Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Pérez, Jessica Helen
  9. A Replication of "The Political Determinants of Federal Expenditure at the State Level (Public Choice, 2005) By Stratford Douglas; W. Robert Reed
  10. Multidimensional welfare rankings By Athanassoglou, Stergios
  11. Self-organization of knowledge economies By Lafond, Francois
  12. Changes in the topical structure of russian-language livejournal: the impact of elections 2011 By Kirill Maslinsky; Sergey Koltsov; Olessia Koltsova
  13. Do Faculty Matter? Effects of Faculty Participation in University Decisions By Kathleen Carroll; Lisa M. Dickson; Jane E. Ruseski
  14. A Model of Influence Based on Aggregation Function By Michel Grabisch; Agnieszka Rusinowska
  15. Social Capital and Political Institutions: Evidence that Democracy Fosters Trust By Ljunge, Martin
  16. The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants make Better Leaders? By Marion Mercier
  17. Institution Building and Political Economy By Majumdar, Sumon; Mukand, Sharun W
  18. Consistent Voting Systems Revisited: Computation and Axiomatic Characterization By Bezalel Peleg
  19. Strategic Data Project and Education Pioneers Year 1 Report: Laying the Groundwork for Data-Driven Decision Making. By Kristin Hallgren; Cassie Pickens Jewell; Celina Kamer; Jacob Hartog; rew Gothro
  20. Coalitional Approaches to Collusive Agreements in Oligopoly Games By Sergio Currarini; Marco A. Marini
  21. Companion Document for the Strategic Data Project and Education Pioneers Year 1 Report: Layng the Groundwork for Data-Driven Decision Making. By Kristin Hallgren; Cassie Pickens Jewell; Celina Kamler; Jacob Hartog; Andrew Gothro
  22. Emerging standards in decision modeling. By Taylor, James; Fish, Alan; Vanthienen, Jan; Vincent, Paul

  1. By: Ascensi—n Andina D’az (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de M‡laga)
    Abstract: We model an election between two downsian candidates and a third deterministic one. There is uncertainty about the state of the world. Candidates receive signals on the state and propose a policy to implement. There are two types of voters: social concerned and biased. For both the cases in which the deterministic candidate is biased towards the policy preferred by the majority or the minority group, we characterize all the government structures (coalition governments) that allow for information transmission by the two candidates. Our results show that the third candidate helps to restore the informativeness of the electoral process and that, contrary to expected, information transmission occurs more frequently when the deterministic candidate is biased towards the policy preferred by the majority than when he is against it. Loosely put, the more populist this candidate, the better.
    Keywords: Multi-party electoral competition, heterogeneous voters, information transmission
    JEL: D72 D82
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Tangian, Andranik S.
    Abstract: The outcomes of the 2013 German Bundestag (federal parliament) are analyzed from the viewpoint of direct democracy. For this purpose, the party positions on 36 topical issues are compared with the results of public opinion polls, and the party and coalition indices of popularity (the average percentage of the population represented) and universality (frequency in representing a majority) are constructed. It is shown that the 2013 election winner, the union of two conservative parties CDU/CSU with their 41.6% of the votes, is the least representative among the four parties eligible for parliament seats (with > 5% of the votes). The most representative among the eligible ones is the left party DIE LINKE that received only 8.6% of the votes. It is concluded that voters are not very consistent with their own political profiles, disregard party manifestos, and are likely driven by political traditions, even if outdated, or by personal images of politicians. Moreover, the actual practice of coalition formation further aggravates the low representativeness of the parliament. Thereby it is shown that representative democracy, as it is, guarantees no adequate representation of public opinion even in Germany with its multiparty system and strong socialdemocratic traditions. To bridge approaches of representative and direct democracy, an alternative election procedure is proposed. For illustration, it is hypothetically applied to redistribute the Bundestag seats with a considerable gain in its representativeness. --
    Keywords: representative democracy,direct democracy,elections,coalitions,theory of voting,mathematical theory of democracy,indices of popularity and universality
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Aggeborn, Linuz (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal link between voter turnout and policy outcomes related to the size of government. Tax rate and public expenditures are the focal policy outcomes in this study. To capture the causal mechanism, Swedish and Finnish municipal data are used and a constitutional change in Sweden in 1970 is applied as an instrument for voter turnout in local elections. In 1970, Sweden moved from having separate election days for different levels of government, among other things, to a system with a single election day for political elections, thus reducing the cost associated with voting. This constitutional reform increased voter turnout in local elections in Sweden. The overall conclusion of this paper is that higher voter turnout yields higher municipal taxes and larger local public expenditures. Second, there is some evidence that higher turnout decreases the vote share for right-wing parties.
    Keywords: Voter Turnout; Size of government; Sweden; Finland; Local public finance; Instrumental variable regression
    JEL: D70 D72 H39
    Date: 2013–11–05
  4. By: Ori Weisel (Max Planck Institute of Economics); Ro'i Zultan (BGU)
    Abstract: We experimentally test the social motives behind individual participation in intergroup conflict by manipulating the framing and symmetry of conflict. We find that behavior in conflict depends on whether one is harmed by actions perpetrated by the out-group, but not on one’s own influence on the outcome of the out-group. The way in which this harm is presented and perceived dramatically alters participation decisions. When people perceive their group to be under threat, they are mobilized to do what is good for the group and contribute to the conflict. On the other hand, if people perceive to be personally under threat, they are driven to do what is good for themselves and withhold their contribution. The first phenomenon is attributed to group identity, possibly combined with a concern for social welfare. The second phenomenon is attributed to a novel victim effect. Another social motive—reciprocity—is ruled out by the data.
    Keywords: intergroup conflict, intergroup prisoner’s dilemma, asymmetric conflict, framing, group identity.
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Muhammad Mahajne (BGU); Oscar Volij (BGU)
    Abstract: We propose a weakening of the unanimity concept, which we refer to as consensus of level r, and apply it to rationalize social aggregation rules.
    Keywords: Social choice, unanimity, consensus, preference aggregation rules
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Joosung Lee
    Abstract: I introduce a noncooperative coalitional bargaining model for characteristic function form games. A player not only buys out other players' resources and rights with upfront transfers as in Gul (Econometrica, 1989), but also strategically chooses partners instead of bargaining with a randomly selected opponent. Such transactions among players are interpreted as coalition formation. The main theorem provides a general inefficiency result. If a characteristic function form game has a strict subcoalition with a strictly positive worth and a player with a strictly positive marginal contribution to the grand-coalition, then an efficient stationary subgame perfect equilibrium does not exist, as long as the discount factor is sufficiently high but strictly less than 1. Two special results are established. A grand-coalition equilibrium is impossible when players are sufficiently patient, unless the characteristic function form game is a unanimity game. For a simple game with a veto player and multiple winning coalitions, a non-minimal winning coalition is formed with positive probability. In two applications, I study players' strategic alliance behavior and the effect of the strategic behavior on inequality. First, for three-player simple games, the equilibrium payoff vector Lorenz-dominates both the Shapley-Shubik power index and the core-constrained Nash bargaining solution. Second, for wage bargaining games, workers endogenously form a union and their equilibrium payoffs can be greater than marginal products.
    JEL: C72 C78 D72 D74
    Date: 2013–11–20
  7. By: Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Luca Zarri (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: In this paper, we quantify the extent and identify some major determinants of lying in politics. We focus on public claims made by US national politicians between 2007 and 2012 and present a series of intriguing results. While politicians – and prominent ones in particular – are reluctant to tell complete (or ‘black’) lies, they have a strong propensity to (strategically) tell ‘grey’ lies, i.e. claims that are only partly true. Moreover, party affiliation has a huge influence, with Republicans being more likely to depart from the truth than Democrats. Also one’s state of origin plays an important role: whereas politicians in general are significantly less likely to lie if they come from swing (or battleground) states, Democratic politicians lie more frequently if they come from traditionally Blue states. Politicians are also less likely to be untruthful if they come from highly educated states and from Southern states, where traditional values prevail. As to political topics, both black and grey lies occur more often on health-related issues. As to presidential candidates, Obama lies significantly less than his opponents. Our results on the extent and sources of variation of lying in politics inform the theory of strategic information transmission as well as the streams of literature on persuasive communication, democratization, human lying in general and deceptive behavior in politics.
    Keywords: Lying, Democracy, Political Competition, Beliefs
    JEL: D72 D03 C25 D82
    Date: 2013–11
  8. By: Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Pérez, Jessica Helen
    Abstract: This paper looks at the contribution of political leaders to enhance citizens education and investigate how the educational attainment of the population is affected while a leader with higher education remains in office. For this purpose, we consider educational transitions of political leaders in office and find that the educational attainment of population increases when a more educated leader remains in office. Furthermore, we also observe that the educational attainment of the population is negatively impacted when a country transitions from an educated leader to a less educated one. This result may help to explain the previous finding that more educated political leaders favor economic growth. Key Words: Political leaders, Primary Education, School Achievement, Political institutions. JEL classification: I21,I25,I28.
    Keywords: Institucions polítiques, Rendiment escolar, Educació primària, Política educativa, 32 - Política, 37 - Educació. Ensenyament. Formació. Temps lliure,
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Stratford Douglas; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper replicates and analyses a study by Hoover and Pecorino (2005) on federal spending in US states. H&P followed on path-breaking research by Atlas et al. (1995) in which evidence was claimed in favour of the “small state effect;” namely, that since every state is represented by two senators, small states have a disproportionate influence relative to their population size. Using H&P’s data, we both replicate their results, and demonstrate strong support for the small state effect when we formally test their predictions. The contribution of this study is that we demonstrate that this empirical support vanishes when we (i) employ cluster robust standard errors rather than conventional OLS standard errors, and (ii) include a variable for population growth as suggested in a recent study by Larcinese et al. (2013). Our results lead us to conclude that there is no evidence to support the hypothesis of a “small state effect.”
    Keywords: Small state effect; Representation; US Senate; Replication study
    JEL: H1 H5 C1
    Date: 2013–11–13
  10. By: Athanassoglou, Stergios
    Abstract: Social well-being is intrinsically multidimensional. Welfare indices attempting to reduce this complexity to a unique measure abound in many areas of economics and public policy. Ranking alternatives based on such measures depends, sometimes critically, on how the different dimensions of welfare are weighted. In this paper, a theoretical framework is presented that yields a set of consensus rankings in the presence of such weight imprecision. The main idea is to consider a vector of weights as an imaginary voter submitting preferences over alternatives in the form of an ordered list. With this voting construct in mind, a rule for aggregating the preferences of many plausible choices of weights, suitably weighted by the importance attached to them, is proposed. An axiomatic characterization of the rule is provided, and its computational implementation is developed. An analytic solution is derived for an interesting special case of the model corresponding to generalized weighted means and the $\epsilon$-contamination framework of Bayesian statistics. The model is applied to the Academic Ranking of World Universities index of Shanghai University, a popular composite index measuring academic excellence.
    Keywords: multidimensional welfare, social choice, voting, Kemeny's rule, graph theory, $\epsilon$-contamination
    JEL: C61 D71 D72 I31
    Date: 2013–11–21
  11. By: Lafond, Francois (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG)
    Abstract: Suppose that homogenous agents fully consume their time to invent new ideas and learn ideas from their friends. If the social network is complete and agents pick friends and ideas of friends uniformly at random, the distribution of ideas’ popularity is an extension of the Yule-Simon distribution. It has a power-law tail, with an upward or downward curvature. For infinite population it converges to the Yule-Simon distribution. The power law is steeper when innovation is high. Diffusion follows S-shaped curves.
    Keywords: innovation, diffusion, two-mode networks, cumulative advantage, quadratic attachment kernel, power law, Yule-Simon distribution, generalized hypergeometric distribution
    JEL: D83 D85 O31 O33
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Kirill Maslinsky (Researcher at the Laboratory for Internet Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.); Sergey Koltsov (Senior researcher at the Laboratory for Internet Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia); Olessia Koltsova (Head of the Laboratory for Internet Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
    Abstract: This study investigates the topical structure of the Russian-language blog-publishing service LiveJournal and the change in it that occurred in the course of the public activity after the State Duma elections in December 2011 as compared to a previous “control” period (November 27 – December 27 and August 15 – September 15 respectively). The data for both periods have been automatically obtained from 2000 top-rated blogs on the basis of ratings published by LiveJournal. Unsupervised topic modelling of the sampled posts was done using Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithm. In December 2011 we found considerable growth in weights of all the topics closely associated with the discussion of voting results and protests, accompanied by a more moderate decrease in the majority of other social topics. the number of users who started posting texts that may be conventionally qualified as political according to LDA in December 2011, considerably outnumbers the number of those who ceased posting political items , which may indicate the existence of a blogger mobilization process in political topics.
    Keywords: Internet media, blogs, political mobilization, Russia, topic modeling, LDA.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Kathleen Carroll (UMBC); Lisa M. Dickson (UMBC); Jane E. Ruseski (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: This paper models faculty participation in university decision-making and the effects on enrollment, academic quality and non-academic quality. The model predicts that faculty participation positively academic quality and non-academic quality. The model predicts that faculty participation positively affects student enrollment and investments in academic quality. Without faculty involvment in decision making, universities may choose to overinvest in non-academic quality (e.g. athletics, recreational activities) relative to academic quality. If academic quality provides positive externalities as the economic literature indicates, then faculty involvment in decision-making is socially preferred to having decisions made only by university administrators.
    Keywords: higher education; faculty governance; university decision making; incentives; nonprofit organization; public organization; organizational behavior.
    JEL: D23 D73 I23 L31 L38
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Agnieszka Rusinowska (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: The paper concerns a dynamic model of influence in which agents make a yes-no decision. Each agent has an initial opinion which he may change during different phases of interaction, due to mutual influence among agents. We investigate a model of influence based on aggregation functions. Each agent modifies his opinion independently of the others, by aggregating the current opinion of all agents. Our framework covers numerous existing models of opinion formation, since we allow for arbitrary aggregation functions. We provide a general analysis of convergence in the aggregation model and find all terminal classes and states. We show that possible terminal classes to which the process of influence may converge are terminal states (the consensus states and non trivial states), cyclic terminal classes, and unions of Boolean lattices (called regular terminal classes). An agent is influential for another agent if the opinion of the first one matters for the latter. A generalization of influential agent to an irreducible coalition whose opinion matters for an agent is called influential coalition. The graph (hypergraph) of influence is a graphical representation of influential agents (coalitions). Based on properties of the hypergraphs of influence we obtain conditions for the existence of the different kinds of terminal classes. An important family of aggregation functions -- the family of symmetric decomposable models -- is discussed. Finally, based on the results of the paper, we analyze the manager network of Krackhardt.
    Keywords: influence; aggregation function; convergence; terminal class; influential coalition; hypergraph; social network
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper finds evidence that more democratic political institutions increase trust. Second generation immigrants with ancestries from 115 countries are studied within 30 European countries. Comparing individuals born and residing in the same country, those whose father was born in a more democratic country express higher trust than those whose father was born in a less democratic country. The results are robust to individual, parental, and ancestral country controls.
    Keywords: Trust; Democracy; Political institutions; Cultural transmission; Social capital
    JEL: F55 H10 J62 Z13
    Date: 2013–11–18
  16. By: Marion Mercier (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD], PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales [EHESS] - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of political leaders' migration experience on the quality of their leadership. We build up an original database on the personal background of 932 politicians who were at the head of the executive power in a developing country over the 1960-2004 period. We put forward a positive e ffect of the leader having studied abroad on the level of democracy in his country during his tenure. This e ffect is shown to be independent from the leader's education level, as well as from his profession. Moreover, it is mainly driven by countries with a poor initial level of democracy. These results are con rmed by various robustness tests. They propose a new channel through which migration may a ect politics in the sending countries, namely the emergence of the elites.
    Keywords: Political leaders ; Migration ; Democracy ; Developing countries
    Date: 2013–11
  17. By: Majumdar, Sumon (Queens University); Mukand, Sharun W (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: The paper examines the role of policy intervention in engendering institutional change. We show that first order changes in the political structure (e.g. introduction of democracy) may be undermined by local political interests and result in persistence in institutions and the (poor) quality of governance. The paper identifies two effects of development policy as a tool for institutional change. One, by increasing political accountability, it may encourage nascent democratic governments to invest in good institutions – the incentive effect. However, we show that it also increases the incentive of the rentier elite to tighten their grip on political institutions – the political control effect. Which of these dominate determine the overall impact on institutional quality. Under some conditions, by getting the elite to align their economic interests with that of the majority, development policy can lead to democratic consolidation and economic improvement. However if elite entrenchment is pervasive, then comprehensive change may require more coercive means.
    Keywords: political structure
    Date: 2013
  18. By: Bezalel Peleg
    Abstract: We add two results to the theory of consistent voting. Let M be the set of all survivors of some feasible elimination procedure. We prove that i) M can be computed in polynomial time for each profile of preferences and ii) M is characterized by anonymity, non- imposition, Maskin monotonicity, and additive blocking.
    Date: 2013–10
  19. By: Kristin Hallgren; Cassie Pickens Jewell; Celina Kamer; Jacob Hartog; rew Gothro
    Keywords: Strategic Data Project, Education Pioneers, Data-Driven Decision Making, Education
    JEL: I
  20. By: Sergio Currarini (University of Leicester, Universita' di Venezia and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change); Marco A. Marini (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
    Abstract: In this paper we review a number of coalitional solution concepts for the analysis of cartel and merger stability in oligopoly. We show that, although so far the industrial organization and the cooperative game-theoretic literature have proceeded somehow independently on this topic, the two approaches are highly inter-connected. We first consider the basic problem of the stability of the whole industry association of firms under oligopoly and, for this purpose, we introduce the concept of core in oligopoly games. We show that different assumptions on the behaviour as well as on the timing of the coalitions of firms yield very different results on the set of allocations which are core-stable. We then consider the stability of associations of firms organized in coalition structures different from the grand coalition. To this end, various coalition formation games recently introduced by the so called endogenous coalition formation literature are critically reviewed. Again, different assumptions concerning the timing and the behaviour of firms are shown to yield a wide range of different results. We conclude by reviewing some recent extensions of the coalitional analysis to oligopolistic markets with heterogeneous firms and incomplete information.
    Keywords: Cooperative Games, Coalitions, Mergers, Cartels, Core, Games with Ex- ternalities, Endogenous Coalition Formation
    Date: 2013
  21. By: Kristin Hallgren; Cassie Pickens Jewell; Celina Kamler; Jacob Hartog; Andrew Gothro
    Keywords: Strategic Data Project, Education Pioneers, Data-Driven Decision Making, Education
    JEL: I
    Date: 2013–10–16
  22. By: Taylor, James; Fish, Alan; Vanthienen, Jan; Vincent, Paul
    Abstract: Written by four members of the submission team (representing FICO, TIBCO, Decision Management Solutions and the University of Leuven), this paper introduces the Decision Model & Notation. The BPM market has expanded and matured in recent years, driven in part by the growing acceptance and broad use of process standards and common modeling notations. As companies transition to intelligent BPM, however, there is a need to focus on decision-making as well as process execution and workflow. Decision-making is important in intelligent processes, making them simpler and more agile as well as increasing the rate of straight through processing. However existing standards and notations do not readily support the modeling and specification of decision making. To address this need a new standard is being developed at the OMG, the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard.
    Date: 2013

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