New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2014‒04‒29
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Participation in Fraudulent Elections By Dmitriy Vorobyev
  2. Candidates' Quality and Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections By De Benedetto, Marco Alberto; De Paola, Maria
  3. Cooperative decision-making for the provision of a locally undesirable facility By Ambec, Stefan; Kervinio, Yann
  4. Hesitant fuzzy sets: The Hurwicz approach to the analysis of project evaluation problems By Alcantud, José Carlos R.; de Andrés Calle, Rocío
  5. Political knowledge and attitudes toward (de)centralization in Europe By Floriana Cerniglia; Laura Pagani
  6. Innovation in institutional collaboration By Fowler, A.F.
  7. The Cost of Political Tension: An Anatomy By He, Yinghua; Nielsson, Ulf; Wang, Yonglei
  8. Conditional Cash Transfers, Civil Conflict and Insurgent Influence: Experimental Evidence from the Philippines By Benjamin Crost; Joseph H. Felter; Patrick B. Johnston
  9. "On the Mechanics of Human Cooperation: An OLG Repeated Game in a Community Union" By Michihiro Kandori; Shinya Obayashi
  10. Regime spoiler or regime pawn: the military and distributional conflict in non-democracies By Amegashie, J. Atsu
  11. The Effect of Ambient Noise on Cooperation in Public Good Games By Diederich, Johannes
  12. Pathways of transnational activism: A conceptual framework By Zajak, Sabrina
  13. Energy transition and behavioural change in rural areas - The role of energy cooperatives By Timo Kaphengst; Eike Karola Velten

  1. By: Dmitriy Vorobyev
    Abstract: I analyze a costly voting model of elections, in which the incumbent can stuff the ballot box, to investigate how electoral fraud affects the participation decisions of voters. I find that two stable equilibria may exist: first, a full abstention equilibrium, where the incumbent wins with certainty, which exists only if the incumbent's capability to stuff a ballot box is suffciently strong. Second, a more efficient coordination equilibrium, where a substantial share of a challenger's supporters vote and the probability of the incumbent being defeated is large. Since voters do not take into account positive externality they produce on other voters when deciding to cast their votes, participation in coordination equilibrium is still inefficiently low. Thus, subsidization as well as introducing compulsory voting may improve efficiency. Because the higher capability of the incumbent to stuff a ballot box discourages the participation of his own supporters and creates coordination incentives for the challenger's supporters, higher fraud does not always benefit the incumbent, even when costless. Additionally, the model simultaneously explains two empirical observations about fraudulent elections: a positive relationship between fraud and victory margin and a negative effect of fraud on turnout.
    Keywords: voting; fraud; participation;
    JEL: D72 D73
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: De Benedetto, Marco Alberto (Birkbeck, University of London); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the quality of candidates running for a mayor position on turnout using a large data set on Italian municipal elections held from 1993 to 2011. We firstly estimate a municipal fixed effects model and show that an increase in the average quality of candidates competing at the electoral race produces a positive impact on turnout. To handle endogeneity issues arising from time variant unobservable features of electoral races, we build on the literature showing that politicians' quality is positively affected by their wage and apply a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design relying on the fact that in Italy the wage of the mayor increases non-monotonically at different thresholds. Results show that an exogenous increase in the average quality of candidates, induced by a higher wage, leads to an increase in turnout by about 2 percentage points.
    Keywords: politicians' quality, turnout, fuzzy regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables
    JEL: D72 D78 J45
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Ambec, Stefan; Kervinio, Yann
    Abstract: We consider the decentralized provision of a global public good with local external- ities in a spatially explicit model. Communities decide on the location of a facility that benefits everyone but exhibits costs to the host and its neighbors. They share the costs through transfers. We examine the cooperative game associated with this so-called NIMBY ("Not In My Back-Yard") problem. We derive and discuss conditions for core solutions to exist. These conditions are driven by the temptation to exclude groups of neighbors at any potential location. We illustrate the results in different spatial settings. In particular, we construct a hypothetical example on a real administrative unit in which the core is shown to be empty. These results clarify how property rights can affect cooperation and shed further light on a limitation of the Coase theorem.
    Keywords: NIMBY, externality, Coase theorem, pollution, waste, core, cooperative game, spatial model.
    JEL: C71 D62 Q53 R53
    Date: 2014–03–26
  4. By: Alcantud, José Carlos R.; de Andrés Calle, Rocío
    Abstract: We provide a methodology to perfom an extensive and systematized analysis of problems where experts voice their opinions on the attributes of projects through a hesitant fuzzy decision matrix. A weighted average of specific parametric expressions for two tenable indices of satisfaction permits to give a profuse picture of the relative performance of the projects. When the parameter grows, these indices tend to replicate the evaluation by respective simplistic expressions that only depend on the least, resp., the largest, evaluation and the number of evaluations in each cell. This provides the decision-maker with ample information on which he or she can rely in order to make the final decision.
    Keywords: Hesitant fuzzy set; Group decision making; Project evaluation
    JEL: C02 M20
    Date: 2014–03–17
  5. By: Floriana Cerniglia; Laura Pagani
    Abstract: The allocation of competences between the EU and Member States is one of most burning issues in the history of the European integration. From a theoretical economic perspective, this ongoing process calls into question the theory of fiscal federalism. In this paper, we study empirically the impact of European citizens’ knowledge about the EU on their attitudes toward the allocation of competences. We use micro-data from the Eurobarometer survey. We find that more knowledgeable citizens are more willing to favour centralization of competences to the EU in areas where public intervention by individual Member States causes externalities, where scale economies in the provision of public goods are important and where redistributive and stabilization functions have to be pursued.
    Keywords: European Union, Information, Policy opinions, Political Economy
    JEL: H7 D8
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: Fowler, A.F.
    Abstract: The world is said to be confronted with complex issues working against the long term well-being of people and planet that can only be effectively addressed through (hyper) collective effort. How necessary collaboration comes about and progresses shows numerous approaches, professional specialisations, studies and examples. However, there is little in the way of a comprehensive, comparative perspective examining the instigator(s) of diverse collective action objectives and participants in co-creative relationships for societal change that are maintained over time and brought to fruition. More critically, organisational innovations suggest that what currently exists to tackle intractable problems by getting institutions and their organisational actors to cooperate needs updating. Past approaches to collaboration are not good enough for operating in tomorrow’s conditions. Drawing on Actor Network Theory, this paper therefore explores a category of actant – an interlocutor – as potentially crucial in committing to, arranging and holding together complex collective action engagements. From multiple angles and using examples of organisational innovation, the analysis considers the interplay between interlocutor attributes and interlocution processes. A preliminary conclusion is that a combination of characteristics exhibited by an interlocutor offers a helpful category to explain and bring about multi-institutional problem solving. As importantly, increasing the number and variety of interlocutors across the world may be an agenda worth pursuing.
    Keywords: interlocutor, institutions, innovation, collective action, actor networks
    Date: 2014–04–14
  7. By: He, Yinghua; Nielsson, Ulf; Wang, Yonglei
    Abstract: The paper examines how increased political tension affects stock returns and identifies the channels through which this occurs. Focusing on Taiwan's sovereign debate, we find that non-violent events harming the political relationship with mainland China are associated with an average daily drop of 200 basis points in Taiwanese stock returns. Expectations of mild tension also adversely affect stock returns. The impact is stronger on firms located close to potential conflict zones and on Taiwanese firms openly supporting the pro-independence party. The adverse effect on political opponents concentrates on those firms economically exposed to mainland China through either investments or exports.
    Keywords: political tension, political connections, China, Taiwan
    JEL: F51 G14 G15
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Benjamin Crost (University of Colorado Denver); Joseph H. Felter (Stanford University); Patrick B. Johnston (RAND Corporation)
    Abstract: Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are an increasingly popular tool for reducing poverty in conflict-affected areas. Despite their growing popularity, there is limited evidence on how CCT programs affect conflict and theoretical predictions are ambiguous. We estimate the effect of conditional cash transfers on civil conflict in the Philippines by exploiting an experiment that randomly assigned eligibility for a CCT program at the village level. We find that cash transfers caused a substantial decrease in conflict-related incidents in treatment villages relative to control villages. Using unique data on local insurgent influence, we also find that the program significantly reduced insurgent influence in treated villages.
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Michihiro Kandori (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo); Shinya Obayashi (chool of Arts & Letters, Tohoku University)
    Abstract:    Humans are capable of cooperating with one another even when it is costly and a deviation provides an immediate gain. An important reason is that cooperation is reciprocated or rewarded and deviations are penalized in later stages. For cooperation to be sustainable, not only must rewards and penalties be strong enough, but individuals should also have the right incentives to provide rewards and punishments. Codes of conduct with such properties have been studied extensively in game theory (as repeated game equilibria), and the literature on the evolution of cooperation shows how equilibrium behavior might emerge and proliferate in society. We found that community unions, a subclass of labor unions that admits individual affiliations, are ideal to corroborate these theories with reality, because (i) their activities are simple and (ii) they have a structure which closely resembles a theoretical model, the OLG (overlapping generations) repeated game. A detailed case study of a community union revealed a possible equilibrium that can function under the very limited observability in the union. The equilibrium code of conduct appears to be a natural focal point based on simple heuristic reasoning. The union we studied was created out of necessity for cooperation, without knowing or anticipating how cooperation might be sustained. The union has successfully resolved about 3,000 labor disputes and created a number of offspring.
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Amegashie, J. Atsu
    Abstract: I consider a model in which an autocrat can be removed from power either through a military coup or a revolution by the citizens. In the event of a revolt by the citizens, the military may choose to support the autocrat to crush the revolt or play a passive role. The autocrat determines the distribution of the country's wealth among himself, the military, and the citizens. I find that, under certain conditions, there exists a unique Markov perfect equilibrium in which there are no coups, the citizens revolt in each period, and the military fights on behalf of the autocrat. Under a different set of conditions, there is another Markov perfect equilibrium in which there are no coups, the citizens always revolt, but the military does not fight the revolt. However, peace (no revolts) is also an equilibrium of the model. The model is consistent with the persistence of social unrest or civil wars in certain countries and the different roles played by the military in different countries. Surprisingly, I find that if the citizens' outside option (i.e., payoff in a democracy) improves, this is likely to make them worse off. Furthermore, an increase in natural resources is likely to make the citizens worse off because it reduces the probability of a transition to democracy or the prospect of good governance in autocracy. I discuss other implications of the model and relate it to real-world events.
    Keywords: autocracy, continuation value, military, Markov equilibrium, revolution
    JEL: D7 D71
    Date: 2014–03–06
  11. By: Diederich, Johannes
    Abstract: Environmental stressors such as noise, pollution, extreme temperatures, or crowding can pose relevant externalities in the economy if certain conditions are met. This paper presents experimental evidence that exposure to acute ambient noise decreases cooperative behavior in a standard linear public good game.
    Keywords: private provision of public goods; environmental stress; noise
    Date: 2014–04–16
  12. By: Zajak, Sabrina
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel analytical framework to study transnational activism in the context of today's international governance architecture. While there is a considerable amount of literature on the emergence, development, and effects of transnational activism in specific transnational governance arrangements or within a specific local context, an integrated framework that analyzes the dynamic interplay between activism, transnational institutions, and domestic contexts is still lacking. The framework of transnational pathways of influence intends to help close this gap. It integrates insights from social movement research on transnational collective action and insights from institutional theorists on institutional interactions. The framework consists of three major concepts: the concept of intra-pathway dynamics captures the relationship of mobilization and institutional chance within one path; the concept of inter-pathway dynamics encompasses institutional interactions and interdependencies between activism across paths; and the concept of the global-local link characterizes the relationship of activism within each path to local actors, the domestic context, and the political regime. The paper outlines this framework and exemplifies it by taking the case of transnational labor-rights activism targeting labor-rights violations in a strong and nondemocratic state: the People's Republic of China. It shows that the study of activism across different transnational pathways over time is necessary to understand the combined effects of activist interventions, institutional co-evolution and interaction as an explanation of the process of selective convergence between global norms and local practices. -- Der Beitrag präsentiert einen neuen Ansatz zur Analyse transnationalen Mehrebenenaktivismus in der globalen Governance-Architektur. Der besondere Fokus liegt auf dem Zusammenspiel zwischen Aktivisten, multiplen transnationalen Institutionen und dem lokalen Kontext. Kern des Analyserahmens bilden drei Konzepte: Intra-Pfad-Entwicklungen beschreiben die Interaktion zwischen Mobilisierung und institutionellem Wandel innerhalb eines Pfades; Inter-Pfad-Dynamiken umfassen institutionelle Interaktionen und Interdependenzen zwischen Aktivismus in verschiedenen Pfaden; und der global-lokale Link erklärt das Verhältnis von Aktivisten in den einzelnen Pfaden zu lokalen Akteuren, dem lokalen Kontext und dem politischen Regime. Der Analyserahmen wird anhand des Beispiels von transnationalem Arbeitsrechtsaktivismus, der gegen schlechte Arbeitsbedingungen in chinesischen Lieferbetrieben mobilisiert, erörtert. Es zeigt sich, dass die Analyse von transnationalem Aktivismus entlang verschiedener Pfade und im Zeitverlauf nötig ist, um die Wirkung des Zusammenspiels verschiedener Effekte - transnationale Interventionen, institutionelle Ko-Evolution und Interaktion - zu verstehen: Nur in ihrem Wechselspiel führen diese Prozesse zu einer selektiven Konvergenz zwischen globalen Normen, nationalen Rechten und lokalen Praktiken.
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Timo Kaphengst; Eike Karola Velten
    Abstract: The overall aim of this study is to investigate energy transition processes in rural areas by paying particular attention to the role of energy cooperatives in these processes. The study should mainly uncover, if and under which conditions energy cooperatives provide favourable structures for initialising transition processes in rural areas and involving relevant stakeholders. A particular focus will be on the question of agency in energy transition processes and the internal drivers and motivations of the people to become involved in energy cooperatives. The theoretical background of the study is the transition theory and transition management (TM) concept, which we complement by drawing on Practice Theory and social learning in order to explain behavioural changes. The study mainly builds on an empirical case study in the Rhön-Grabfeld district in Northern Bavaria (Germany). Several energy cooperatives were formed there recently through the support and promotion a small rural consultancy. In addition, the results from the case study will be complemented by and compared with other case studies from Denmark and Spain taken from the literature. One of the main research question will be, to what extent energy cooperatives can be considered a good practice example for participatory involvement in transition processes and to what extent does this have an influence on the inner drivers/motivations of actors in this transition, possibly leading to behavioural changes.
    Keywords: Academic research, Behavioural economics, Post-industrialisation, Social development, Social innovation, Socio-ecological transition, Transition research
    JEL: D83 Q01 Q28
    Date: 2014–04

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