New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2013‒12‒15
twenty-one papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts By Martin Gregor
  2. Distance rationalizability of scoring rules By Can B.
  3. The Strategic Sincerity of Approval Voting By Matias Nunez
  4. Estimating Habit Formation in Voting By Thomas Fujiwara; Kyle C. Meng; Tom Vogl
  5. Ethnic Concentration and Extreme Right-Wing Voting Behavior in West Germany By Verena Dill
  6. The q-Condorcet efficiency of positional rules By Sebastien Courtin; Mathieu Martin; Issofa Moyouwou
  7. A Note on Values for Markovian Coalition Processes By Ulrich Faigle; Michel Grabisch
  8. The chicken or the egg: An experimental study of democracy survival, income, and inequality By Dmitry Ryvkin; Anastasia Semykina
  9. A note on the ordinal equivalence of power indices in games with coalition structure By Sebastien Courtin; Bertrand Tchantcho
  10. Are Condorcet procedures so bad according to the reinforcement axiom? By Sebastien Courtin; Boniface Mbih; Issofa Moyouwou
  11. The impact of political uncertainty on institutional ownership By Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Zhu, Yun
  12. Fighting Crime with a Little Help from my Friends: Party Affiliation, Inter‐jurisdictional Cooperation and Crime in Mexico By Ruben Durante; Emilio Guterriez
  13. Support for Franchise Extension for Children: Evidence on Japanese Attitude to Demeny Voting By Vaithianathan, Rhema; Aoki, Reiko; Sbai, Erwan
  14. Social Preferences under Risk: the Role of Social Distance By Natalia Montinari; Michela Rancan
  15. Electoral cycles in international reserves: Evidence from Latin America and the OECD By Jorge M. Streb; Daniel Lema; Pablo Garofalo
  16. Communication and Efficiency in Competitive Coordination Games By Cason, Timothy; Sheremeta, Roman; Zhang, Jingjing
  17. Equitable Representation in the Councils of the United Nations: Theory and Application By Matthew Gould; Matthew D. Rablen
  18. Collective Action, Heterogeneous Loyalties, and Path Dependence: Micro-Evidence from Senegal By Jean-Philippe Platteau; Tomasz Strzalecki
  19. Dominance Solvable Approval Voting Games By Sebastien Courtin; Matias Nunez
  20. Warm-Glow Giving and Freedom to Be Selfish By Evren , Ozgur; Minardi , Stefania
  21. Weighted Majoritarian Rules for the Location of Multiple Public Facilities By Sidartha Gordon; Olivier Bochet; René Saran

  1. By: Martin Gregor
    Abstract: The Anglo-American double-member districts employing plurality-at-large are frequently criticized for giving a large majority premium to a winning party. In this paper, we demonstrate that the premium stems from a limited degree of voters' discrimination associated with only two positive votes on the ballot. To enhance voters' ability to discriminate, we consider rules that give voters more positive and negative votes. We identify voting equilibria of alternative scoring rules in a situation where candidates differ in binary ideology and binary quality; strategic voters are of two ideology types; and a candidate's ideology is more salient than quality. The most generous rules such as approval voting and combined approvaldisapproval voting only replicate the outcomes of plurality-at-large. The highest minority representation and the highest quality is achieved by a rule that assigns two positive votes and one negative vote to each voter.
    Keywords: electoral rules; strategic voting; negative votes; plurality-at-large;
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Can B. (GSBE)
    Abstract: Collective decision making problems can be seen as finding an outcome that is closest to a concept of consensus. 1 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 2 distance. 3 shows that the Dodgson rule is the closest to Condorcet under swap distance. 4, 5 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 6. Therefore, the results herein generalizes 1 and builds a connection between scoring rules and a generalization of the Kemeny distance, i.e. weighted distances.
    Keywords: Computational Techniques; Simulation Modeling; Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations; Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior; Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances;
    JEL: C63 D71 D72 D74
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Matias Nunez (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)
    Abstract: We show that Approval voting need not trigger sincere behavior in equilibrium of Poisson voting games and hence might lead a strategic voter to skip a candidate preferred to his worst preferred approved candidate. We identify two main rationales for these violations of sincerity. First, if a candidate has no votes, a voter might skip him. Notwithstanding, we provide sufficient conditions on the voters' preference intensities to remove this sort of insincerity. On the contrary, if the candidate gets a positive share of the votes, a voter might skip him solely on the basis of his ordinal preferences. This second type of insincerity is a consequence of the correlation of the candidates' scores. The incentives for sincerity of rank scoring rules are also discussed.
    Keywords: Sincerity Approval voting Poisson games
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Thomas Fujiwara; Kyle C. Meng; Tom Vogl
    Abstract: We estimate habit formation in voting—the effect of past on current turnout—by exploiting transitory voting cost shocks. Using county-level data on U.S. presidential elections from 1952-2012, we find that precipitation on current and past election days reduces voter turnout. Our estimates imply that a 1-point decrease in past turnout lowers current turnout by 0.7-0.9 points. Consistent with a dynamic extension of the Downsian framework, current precipitation has stronger effects following previous rainy elections. Further analyses suggest that this habit formation operates by reinforcing the intrinsic satisfaction associated with voting.
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2013–12
  5. By: Verena Dill
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and administrative data from 1996 to 2009, I investigate the question whether or not right-wing extremism of German residents is affected by the ethnic concentration of foreigners living in the same residential area. My results show a positive but insignificant relationship between ethnic concentration at county level and the probability of extreme right-wing voting behavior for West Germany. However, due to potential endogeneity issues, I additionally instrument the share of foreigners in a county with the share of foreigners in each federal state (following an approach of Dustmann/Preston 2001). I find evidence for the interethnic contact theory, predicting a negative relationship between foreigners’ share and right-wing voting. Moreover, I analyze the moderating role of education and the influence of cultural traits on this relationship.
    Keywords: Ethnic concentration, extreme right-wing voting, group threat, interethnic contact
    JEL: D72 R23 J15
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Sebastien Courtin (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Mathieu Martin (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Issofa Moyouwou (MASS - Université de Yaoundé 1)
    Abstract: According to a given quota q, a candidate a is beaten by another candidate b if at least a proportion of q individuals prefer b to a. The q-Condorcet efficiency of a voting rule is the probability that the rule selects a q-Condorcet winner (q-CW), that is any candidate who is never beaten under the q-majority. Closed form representations are obtained for the q-Condorcet efficiency of positional rules (simple and sequential) in three-candidate elections. This efficiency is significantly greater for sequential rules than for simple positional rules.
    Date: 2013–12–06
  7. By: Ulrich Faigle (Universität zu Köln - Mathematisches Institut); 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)
    Abstract: The Shapley value is defined as the average marginal contribution of a player, taken over all possible ways to form the grand coalition $N$ when one starts from the empty coalition and adds players one by one. The authors have proposed in a previous paper an allocation scheme for a general model of coalition formation where the evolution of the coalition of active players is ruled by a Markov chain, and need not finish at the grand coalition. The aim of this note is to develop some explanations in the general context of time discrete stochastic processes, exhibit new properties of the model, correct some inaccuracies in the original paper, and give a new version of the axiomatization.
    Keywords: coalitional game; coalition formation process; Shapley value
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Dmitry Ryvkin (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Anastasia Semykina (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: Many empirical studies have found a positive association between economic development and democracy survival across countries; however, establishing a causal link between the two with naturally occurring data is problematic. We address this question in a laboratory experiment with democracy defined in a narrow sense as the ability of citizens to invest freely in profitable projects and vote on redistributive income taxation. The level of economic development is measured as the efficiency of investment. In the alternative regime -- autocracy -- the dictator decides on the investment levels and taxation for the whole group. Citizens can voluntarily switch from democracy to autocracy by a majority vote. Using a 2x2 between-subject design, we explore how the likelihood of such switches, referred to as democracy breakdown, varies with economic efficiency and inequality in initial endowments. We find, consistent with theoretical predictions, that democracy breakdown is more likely the lower the efficiency, and increases with the degree of inequality.
    Keywords: democracy breakdown, economic efficiency, inequality, voting, experiment
    JEL: D72 P48 C92
    Date: 2013–12
  9. By: Sebastien Courtin (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Bertrand Tchantcho (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)
    Abstract: The desirability relation was introduced by Isbell (1958) to qualitatively compare the a priori influence of voters in a simple game. In this paper, we extend this desirability relation to simple games with coalition structure. In these games, players organize themselves into a priori disjoint coalitions. It appears that the desirability relation defined in this paper is a complete preorder in the class of swap-robust games. We also compare our desirability relation with the preorders induced by the generalizations to games with coalition structure of the Shapley-Shubik and Banzahf-Coleman power indices (Owen, 1977, 1981). It happens that in general they are different even if one considers the subclass of weighed voting games. However, if structural coalitions have equal size then both Owen-Banzhaf and the desirability preordering coincide.
    Date: 2013–12–06
  10. By: Sebastien Courtin (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Boniface Mbih (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie); Issofa Moyouwou (MASS - Université de Yaoundé 1)
    Abstract: A Condorcet social choice procedure elects the candidate that beats every other candidate under simple majority when such a candidate exists. The reinforcement axiom roughly states that given two groups of individuals, if these two groups select the same alternative, then this alternative must also be selected by their union. Condorcet social choice procedures are known to violate this axiom. Our goal in this paper is to put this important voting theory result into perspective. We then proceed by evaluating how frequently this phenomenon is susceptible to occur.
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Francis, Bill B. (Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Hasan, Iftekhar (Fordham University and Bank of Finland); Zhu, Yun (Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    Abstract: This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty during presidential elections greatly affects investment. Using U.S. institutional ownership data from 1981 to 2010, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings of common stock by 0.76 to 2.1 percentage points during election years. More specifically, institutions tend to sell large proportions of their positions when Republicans win presidential elections and then keep their positions at below-average levels through the first year of the new administration. Conversely, when Democrats win presidential elections, institutions tend to keep their positions at above-average levels for the first year of the new administration. The difference in ownership rises to 2.4% by the end of the first year of new administration. Changes in institutional ownership in election years are sensitive to the uncertainty of the outcome. Our results also show that institutions benefit from these holding strategies during the pre-election periods.
    Keywords: political uncertainty; presidential election; institutional investor; investment
    JEL: G23 G28 P16
    Date: 2013–11–21
  12. By: Ruben Durante (Département d'économie); Emilio Guterriez
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between inter-jurisdictional cooperation and law enforcement in Mexico. Exploiting a Regression Discontinuity Design in close municipal elections, we study how improved opportunities for cooperation in crime prevention among neighboring municipalities - proxied by their degree of political alignment - may result in lower rates of violent crime. We find that municipalities in which the party in power in the majority of neighboring jurisdictions barely won experience significantly lower homicide rates during the mayor’s mandate than those in which it barely lost. This effect is sizeable and independent of which party is in power in the neighboring municipalities.
    Keywords: Crime; Mexico; Party Affiliation; Cooperation
    Date: 2013–10
  13. By: Vaithianathan, Rhema; Aoki, Reiko; Sbai, Erwan
    Date: 2013–04
  14. By: Natalia Montinari (University of Lund, Department of Economics); Michela Rancan (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute)
    Abstract: In many different contexts individuals take decisions on the behalf of others. However, little is known about how this circumstance affects the decision making process and influences the ultimate individuals' choices. In this paper, we focus on the context of investment decisions and study if (and how) lottery-type investment decisions made on behalf of another person differ i) compared to decisions which do not affect anyone else, and ii) depending on the social distance between who makes the decision and who is affected by it. Our results shows that social distance (i.e., whether the person affected by one's decision is an unknown stranger or a friend) is an important determinant when people decide on the behalf of others. Individuals are heterogeneous in their individual investment strategies but, on average, when deciding on behalf of a friend rather than only for themselves or a stranger, their behavior is closer to expected value maximization, exhibiting less risk taking. We interpret these findings as evidence of other regarding preferences affecting the decision making process in lottery-type decisions when the social distance is shortened.
    Keywords: Risk seeking, Other Regarding Preferences, Social Distance, Friends, Lottery-type investment
    JEL: A13 C91 D64 D81
    Date: 2013–12–04
  15. By: Jorge M. Streb; Daniel Lema; Pablo Garofalo
    Abstract: In Latin America there is ample evidence of exchange rate depreciations after elections. Hence, we turn to the behavior of international reserves over the 1980–2005 period to investigate if exchange rates are temporarily stabilized before elections. Using annual, quarterly, and monthly data to define the election year, we find that international reserves fall significantly before elections, which indeed suggests a policy of stabilizing exchange rates. The patterns observed in the region are not replicated in OECD countries. However, once we control for legislative checks and balances on executive discretion in countries with strong compliance with the law, the behavior of both regions becomes remarkably similar. We find that lower effective checks and balances can explain why reserves fall before elections in Latin America. The electoral cycles in reserves and exchange rates in Latin America can be interpreted in terms of the fiscal dominance of monetary policy.
    Keywords: monetary policy, checks and balances, fiscal dominance, political budget cycles, temporal aggregation
    JEL: D72 D78 H60
    Date: 2013–10
  16. By: Cason, Timothy; Sheremeta, Roman; Zhang, Jingjing
    Abstract: Costless pre-play communication has been found to effectively facilitate coordination and enhance efficiency in games with Pareto-ranked equilibria. We report an experiment in which two groups compete in a weakest-link contest by expending costly efforts. Allowing intra-group communication leads to more aggressive competition and greater coordination than control treatments without any communication. On the other hand, allowing inter-group communication leads to less destructive competition. As a result, intra-group communication decreases while inter-group communication increases payoffs. Our experiment thus provides an example of an environment where communication can either enhance or damage efficiency. This contrasts sharply with experimental findings from public goods and other coordination games, where communication always enhances efficiency and often leads to socially optimal outcomes.
    Keywords: contest, between-group competition, within-group competition, cooperation, coordination, free-riding, experiments
    JEL: C70 D72 H41
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Matthew Gould; Matthew D. Rablen
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical framework for equity in council voting games (CVGs). In a CVG, a fully representative voting body delegates decision-making to a subset of the members, as describes, e.g., the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Three equity concepts are proposed, ex-ante (procedural) equity, ex-post (outcome) equity and regional equity. The last two concepts are consistent with a new square-root rule on the probability of council membership, but no CVG can meet all three concepts. We apply our framework to evaluate the equitability of the UNSC, and the claims of those who seek to reform it.
    Date: 2013–11
  18. By: Jean-Philippe Platteau; Tomasz Strzalecki
    Abstract: In Senegal we encountered a situation in which a minority group of migrant fishermen had completely different sets of expectations regarding a collective action depending on the location where they operated. In one village expectations were pessimistic, while in the other village they were optimistic. Understanding this contrast and its implications provides the main justification for the paper. To be able to account for the contrast between the two areas, pessimistic expectations in the first area have to be traced back to a preceding conflict that could never be settled satisfactorily. A perverse path -dependent process had thus been set in motion that could not be changed by a simple act of will of a determined leadership. To demonstrate the links between expectations and actions that fit with the story told, we propose a simple model of collective action with asymmetric information.
  19. By: Sebastien Courtin (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Matias Nunez (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)
    Abstract: This work provides necessary and sufficient conditions for the dominance solvability of approval voting games. Our conditions are very simple since they are based on the approval relation, a binary relation between the alternatives. We distinguish between two sorts of dominance solvability and prove that the most stringent one leads to the election of the set of Condorcet Winners whereas this need not be the case for the weak version.
    Date: 2013–12–06
  20. By: Evren , Ozgur; Minardi , Stefania
    Abstract: Warm-glow refers to other-serving behavior that is valuable for the actor per se, apart from its social implications. We provide axiomatic foundations for warm-glow by viewing it as a form of preference for larger choice sets driven by one's desire for freedom to act selfishly. Specifically, an individual who experiences warm-glow values the availability of selfish options even if she plans to act unselfishly. Our theory accommodates the empirical findings on motivation crowding out and provides clear-cut predictions for empirically distinguishing between warm-glow and other motivations for prosocial behavior, a task of obvious importance for policy. The choice behavior implied by our theory subsumes Riker and Ordeshook (1968) on voting and Andreoni (1989, 1990) on the provision of public goods.
    Keywords: Warm-Glow; Freedom of Choice; Motivation Crowding Out; Altruism; Philanthropy; Public Goods; Ricardian Equivalence; Voter Turnout
    JEL: D11 D64 D81
    Date: 2013–08–20
  21. By: Sidartha Gordon (Département d'économie); Olivier Bochet (University of Bern); René Saran
    Abstract: We consider collective decision problems given by a profile of single-peakedpreferences defined over the real line and a set of pure public facilities to be located on the line. In this context, Bochet and Gordon (2012) provide a large class of priority rules based on efficiency, object-population monotonicity and sovereignty. Each such rule is described by a fixed priority ordering among interest groups. We show that any priority rule which treats agents symmetrically - anonymity - , respects some form of coherence across collective decision problems - reinforcement - and only depends on peak information - peak-only -, is a weighted majoritarian rule. Each such rule defines priorities based on the relative size of the interest groups and specific weights attached to locations. We give an explicit account of the richness of this class of rules.
    Keywords: Multiple Public Facilities; Priority Rules; Weighted Majori- tarian Rules; Object-Population Monotonicity; Sovereignty; Reinforcement; Anonymity.
    Date: 2013–10

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