nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2014‒10‒13
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. BJP’s Demographic Dividend in the 2014 General Elections: An Empirical Analysis By Basu, Deepankar; Misra, Kartik
  2. The Political Economy of Growth, Inequality, the Size and Composition of Government Spending By Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel; José-Carlos Tello
  3. No News, Big News. The political consequences of entertainment TV By Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
  4. Cognitive Diversity, Binary Decisions, and Epistemic Democracy By John A Weymark
  5. The Sustainable Cooperative Tariffs: a Political Economy Perspective By Racem MEHDI
  6. Economics for Substantive Democracy By Manuel Couret Branco
  7. An Economic Model of the Apartheid State By Anton D. Lowenberg
  8. Schengen Borders In Practice: Facts About Finland (And Russia) By Anna A. Dekalchuk
  9. The Netherlands: The representativeness of trade unions and employer associations of trade unions and employer associations in the audiovisual sector By Marianne Grunell

  1. By: Basu, Deepankar (The University of Massachusetts at Amherst); Misra, Kartik (The University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
    Abstract: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the 2014 General Elections in India and emerged as a single party with absolute majority, a result not witnessed since 1984. Not only did it win a majority of seats, it also managed to increase its vote share in almost all states between 2009 and 2014. Using state-level data, we show that BJP’s extraordinary poll results relied crucially on attracting young, especially first time, electors.
    Keywords: Election, India, states
    JEL: D72 R19
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Catholic University of Chile); José-Carlos Tello (Catholic University of Peru)
    Abstract: This paper develops a dynamic general-equilibrium political-economy model for the optimal size and composition of public spending. An analytical solution is derived from majority voting for three government spending categories: public consumption goods and transfers (valued by households), as well as productive government services (complementing private capital in an endogenous-growth technology). Inequality is reflected by a discrete distribution of infinitely-lived agents that differ by their initial capital holdings. In contrast to the previous literature that derives monotonic (typically negative) relations between inequality and growth in one-dimensional voting environments, this paper establishes conditions, in an environment of multi-dimensional voting, under which a non-monotonic, inverted U-shape relation between inequality and growth is obtained. This more general result – that inequality and growth could be negatively or positively related – could be consistent with the ambiguous or inconclusive results documented in the empirical literature on the inequality-growth nexus. The paper also shows that the political-economy equilibrium obtained under multi-dimensional voting for the initial period is time-consistent.
    Keywords: inequality, endogenous growth, multidimensional voting, endogenous taxation
    JEL: D72 E62 H11 H31
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
    Abstract: We investigate the electoral effects of early exposure to Silvio BerlusconiÕs commercial television network, Mediaset, exploiting its staggered expansion across Italian munic- ipalities during the 1980s. We find that municipalities with access to Mediaset prior to 1985 exhibited greater support for BerlusconiÕs party in 1994, when he first ran for office, and in the four following elections. This effect cannot be attributed to pro- Berlusconi news bias since no news programs were broadcast on Mediaset until 1991, when access to the network was already ubiquitous. We discuss alternative channels through which exposure to non-news content may have influenced Mediaset viewersÕ political attitudes.
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: John A Weymark (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: In Democratic Reason, Hélène Landemore has built a case for the epistemic virtues of inclusive deliberative democracy based on the cognitive diversity of the group engaged in making collective decisions. She supports her thesis by appealing to the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem of Lu Hong and Scott Page. In practice, deliberative assemblies often restrict attention to situations with only two options. In this paper, it is shown that it is not possible to satisfy the assumptions of the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem when decisions are binary. The relevance of this theorem for democratic decision-making in non-binary situations is also considered.
    Keywords: epistemic democracy, Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem
    JEL: D7 Y8
  5. By: Racem MEHDI
  6. By: Manuel Couret Branco (Department of Economics, Universidade de Évora)
    Abstract: What is the scope of economics as a science, what is economics for? Real freedom or what we call substantive democracy has never been an objective of economics. In this perspective freedom, or the lack of it, would not be a purpose of a particular economic system, but at best one of its side effects. In this paper I sustain that economics’ discourse has become one the most substantial contributors to what could be called the erosion of democracy. The first argument used in this case against economics refers to its attempt to be considered a neo-naturalistic science; the second concerns the fact that economics considers democracy contradictory to the expression of its scientific rationality and; the third, that economics crowds out people from decision-making processes by pushing them into the hands of experts. What part should economics be called to play in this search for substantive democracy? This issue is all the more critical that economics has reached the status of a major political fact. Partisan political programs have essentially become economic programs, and economic variables have thereby become major global political issues. One of the ways for economics to contribute to substantive democracy is to propose an alternative discourse to mainstream economics. An economics favorable to substantive democracy should, thereby, be political rather than naturalistic, pluralist rather than monist and, instead of crowding out people from decisions processes, should aim at the co-production of economic knowledge with those concerned by the outcome of economic decisions.
    Keywords: Economic Theory; Political Economy; Democracy; Decision-Making.
    JEL: A13 B40 K00 P16
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Anton D. Lowenberg
    Abstract: Rather than a rigid racial ideology, it is argued that South African apartheid was a pragmatic response of a white oligarchy to changing economic and political constraints. Consequently, the degree to which apartheid principles were applied and enforced by the South African state varied over time. A public choice model is developed to explain apartheid as endogenous policy, the parameters of which are determined by political support-maximizing politicians. The model suggests that the enforcement of apartheid was responsive to changes in such exogenous variables as defence costs, the gold price and the reservation wage of black unskilled labour. Predictions of the model hold implications for the causes of the democratic transition of the 1990s, including the role played by international sanctions.
    Keywords: South Africa, apartheid, public choice
    JEL: N47 O55 P48 D78
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Anna A. Dekalchuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This article attempts to solve the empirical puzzle posed by the way the Finnish diplomatic missions issue Schengen visas to the Russians. Building on the theory of the Self and the Other, a theoretical expectation about the uniformity of the Schengen visa regime is brought forward and further checked against the legal reality of the European Union common visa policy and the Finnish-Russian visa issuance arrangements. The case study of the experience that the Finns have with the Russians coming to their territory and history of the Finnish-Russian relations is carried out to dismantle the panoply of motives and meanings laying behind a particular visa regime and to show how the interplay of various political, economic and social factors works to produce peculiar policy outcomes. The main findings prove that despite both theoretical expectations and legal rules governing the Schengen borders and visas, in practice different member states apply the ‘common’ regime differently depending on both economic rationale and historical memories.
    Keywords: Borders, visa policy, Schengen, Finnish-Russian relations, EU-Russian relations, Self and Other.
    JEL: F55
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Marianne Grunell (Amsterdams Instituut voor ArbeidsStudies/Arbeidsrecht, Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The relevance of the Dutch audiovisual sector in terms of the number of employees is negligible. However, in qualitative terms, the sector is infl uential in Dutch society. The characteristics of collective bargaining are defi ned by the division into public and commercial broadcasting. In public broadcasting, there is a multi-employer collective agreement, under which all companies and employees are covered. The organisation NPO acts as a representative of the Minister on behalf of all employers. All four unions concerned sign the multi- employer agreement. In the commercial part of the sector there is at best a single company agreement concluded by one of the unions.
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Dumitru-Catalin BURSUC (National Defense University “Carol I”)
    Abstract: Decision, seen as a moment of clarification, of completion of deliberations on possible action alternatives, represents a defining phase of organizational efficiency. The multiple approaches, from the mechanistic to the psychological ones capture only partially this organizational action stage complexity and interdependence.The learning organisation provides a new framework for the decisional process analysis and also a new actional framework for the decision maker.
    Keywords: pattern, decisional phase, learning organisation
    Date: 2013–11

This nep-cdm issue is ©2014 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.