nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2014‒11‒01
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Enfranchisement and Representation: Italy 1909-1913 By Valentino LARCINESE
  2. Voting to Tell Others By Gautam Rao; Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier
  3. Coalition formation: the role of procedure and policy flexibility By Eligius Hendrix; Annelies De Ridder; Agnieszka Rusinowska; Elena Saiz
  4. Voting behavior, coalitions and government strength through a complex network analysis By Carlo Dal Maso; Gabriele Pompa; Michelangelo Puliga; Gianni Riotta; Alessandro Chessa
  5. Inequality and the Politics of Redistribution By Tetsuo Ono
  6. Who monitors the monitor? : effect of party observers on electoral outcomes By Agustin Casas; Guillermo Díaz; Andre Trindade
  7. Does Local Politics Matter? Quasi-experimental Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections By Roberto Basile; Valerio Filoso
  8. Capital Cities, Conflict, and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence By Filipe R. Campante; Quoc-Anh Do; Bernardo Guimaraes

  1. By: Valentino LARCINESE (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the consequences of the 1912 introduction of quasi-universalmale su¤rage in Italy. The reform increased the electorate from slightly less than three million to 8,650,000 and left the electoral rules and the district boundaries unchanged. This allows us to exploit the heterogeneity in enfranchisement rates across electoral districts to identify the causal e¤ects of franchise extension on a number of political outcomes. The reform caused an increase in the vote share of social reformers (Socialists, Republicans and Radicals), together referred to as the Estrema. One standard deviation in the share of newly enfranchised voters over the total number of registered 1913 voters caused an increase of around 2% in votes for Estrema candidates but had no impact on their parliamentary net seat gains. Enfranchisement had also no impact on the parliamentary representation of aristocracy and traditional elites. Other outcomes (the chances of having candidates from the Estrema and the Her…ndel-Hirshman index of electoral competition) were also una¤ected, with the exception of turnout, which decreased. These …ndings show that de jure political equalization did not cause major changes to political representation, although the voting choices of the formerly and newly enfranchised citizens di¤ered on average. This apparent puzzle is the consequence of the heterogeneity of the e¤ect across a number of both social and political dimensions. The paper documents elites e¤ort to minimize the political impact of the reform.
    Keywords: democratization, voting, electoral competition, inequality, swing districts, political violence, Vatican, socialism
    Date: 2011–11
  2. By: Gautam Rao; Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier
    Abstract: Why do people vote? We argue that social image plays a signiï¬cant role in explaining�turnout: people vote because others will ask. The expectation of being asked motivates�turnout if individuals derive pride from telling others that they voted, or feel shame from�admitting that they did not vote, provided that lying is costly. We design a ï¬eld experiment�to estimate the effect of social image concerns on voting. In a door-to-door survey about�election turnout, we experimentally vary (i) the informational content and use of a flyer pre-announcing the survey, (ii) the duration and payment for the survey, and (iii) the incentives�to lie about past voting. Our estimates suggest signiï¬cant social image concerns. For a�plausible range of lying costs, we estimate the monetary value of voting ‘because others willask’ to be in the range of $5-$15 for the 2010 Congressional election. In a complementary�get-out-the-vote experiment, we inform potential voters before the election that we will ask�them later whether they voted. We ï¬nd suggestive evidence that the treatment increases�turnout.
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Eligius Hendrix (Wageningen University, Logistics, Decision and Information Sciences - wageningen University); Annelies De Ridder (Nijmegen School of Management - Radboud university of Nijmegen); Agnieszka Rusinowska (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Elena Saiz (Nijmegen School of Management - Radboud university of Nijmegen)
    Abstract: A spatial model of coalition formation is used together with data from Dutch elections and theoretical instances to study different procedures of coalition formation. The model shows that procedure plays an important role in reaching a coalition agreement and that political parties do not necessarily benefit from being a first-mover. Moreover, it is shown that a decrease in a party's flexibility can be (dis)advantageous in coalition negotiations. Furthermore, certain power sharing tactics appear not always to lead to an agreement that is in a party's advantage. The main message put forward is that the procedure of forming a coalition plays a more important role than is usually acknowledged in literature and practice.
    Keywords: Coalition formation ; Elections ; Maneuvering space ; Step-by-step procedure ; Simultaneous procedure ; Minimal winning coalition
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Carlo Dal Maso (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Gabriele Pompa (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Michelangelo Puliga (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Gianni Riotta (Princeton University; IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Alessandro Chessa (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: We analyze the network of relations between parliament members according to their voting behavior. In particular, we examine the emergent community structure with respect to political coalitions and government alliances. We rely on tools developed in the Complex Network literature to explore the core of these communities and use their topological features to develop new metrics for party polarization, internal coalition cohesiveness and government strength. As a case study, we focus on the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, for which we are able to characterize the heterogeneity of the ruling coalition as well as parties specific contributions to the stability of the government over time. We find sharp contrast in the political debate which surprisingly does not imply a relevant structure based on establised parties. We take a closer look to changes in the community structure after parties split up and their effect on the position of single deputies within communities. Finally, we introduce a way to track the stability of the government coalition over time that is able to discern the contribution of each member along with the impact of its possible defection. While our case study relies on the Italian parliament, whose relevance has come into the international spotlight in the present economic downturn, the methods developed here are entirely general and can therefore be applied to a multitude of other scenarios.
    Keywords: Parliamentary Network, Party Cohesion, Government Strength
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Tetsuo Ono (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the political economy of public education and in-cash trans- fer in an overlapping generations model of a two-class society in which the dynamics of inequality is driven by the accumulation of human capital. The two redistributive policies are determined by voting, while private education that supplements public education is purchased individually. The model, which includes two-dimensional voting, demonstrates either of the following two types of stable steady-state equilib- ria, which are in line with the evidence: a high-inequality equilibrium with govern- ment expenditure favoring lump-sum transfer, or a low-inequality equilibrium with that favoring public education.
    Keywords: Public education, political economy, inequality
    JEL: D72 D91 I24
    Date: 2013–10
  6. By: Agustin Casas; Guillermo Díaz; Andre Trindade
    Abstract: We show that monitoring by individuals with preferences regarding the outcome of the supervised task interferes with the task's process: the monitors bias the results in favor of their own preferences. In particular, using an original dataset from the 2011 national elections in Argentina, we exploit a (quasi) natural experiment to show that electoral observers with partisan preferences cause a 1.7% to 7% increase in the vote count of the observers' preferred party. This bias, which appears under various electoral rules, concentrates in municipalities with lower civic capital (Guiso et al. (2010)) and weakens the accountability role of elections.
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Roberto Basile; Valerio Filoso
    Abstract: Do differently oriented political parties implement radically divergent policies which impact the citizens’s welfare? The overheated political debate notwithstanding, it is far from clear if this is really the case. Whereas current literature on this issue narrows the focus on specific policy outcomes and instruments, we use the real estate market to evaluate the impact of the whole spectrum of municipal policies. Using a novel dataset on Italian municipal elections for the years 2003–2011 and the corresponding changes in real estate market prices, we employ a regression discontinuity approach to detect the causal effect of a change in municipal majorities. We find robust evidence of no difference between the effects of the policies enacted by left-wing and right-wing parties after three, four, and five years since the election.
    Keywords: Political partisanship, Municipal politics, Real estate prices, Capitalization, Regression discontinuity.
    JEL: H11 H7
    Date: 2014–09–01
  8. By: Filipe R. Campante (Harvard University); Quoc-Anh Do (Département d'économie); Bernardo Guimaraes (Sao Paulo School of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the links between capital cities, conict, and the quality of governance, starting from the assumption that incumbent elites are constrained by the threat of insurrection, and that this threat is rendered less e_ective by distance from the seat of political power. We develop a model that delivers two key predictions: (i) conict is more likely to emerge (and to dislodge incumbents) closer to the capital, and (ii) isolated capital cities are associated with misgovernance. We show evidence that both patterns hold true robustly in the data, as do other ancillary predictions from the model.
    Keywords: Capital Cities; Governance; Institutions; Conflict; Civil War; Revolutions; Insurgencies; Population Concentration; Democracy; Power Sharing; Inefficient Institutions
    JEL: D02 D74 O18 R12
    Date: 2014–10

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