nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Who’s Favored by Evaluative Voting ? An Experiment Conducted During the 2012 French Presidential Election By Antoinette Baujard; Frédéric Gavrel; Herrade Igersheim; Jean-François Laslier; Isabelle Lebon
  2. Voter Turnout and City Performance. By Lo Prete, Anna; Revelli, Federico
  3. Decomposing Random Mechanisms By Marek Pycia; M. Utku Ünver
  4. Reward from public office and selection of politicians by parties By L. Deidda; F. Cerina
  5. Do The Right Thing. A comparison of politicians' incentives across constitutional systems By Giovanna Iannantuoni; Elena Manzoni
  6. Political Activism and Firm Innovation By Ovtchinnikov , Alexei; Reza , Syed
  7. Strategic influence in social networks. By Michel Grabisch; Antoine Mandel; Agnieszka Rusinowska; Emily Tanimura
  8. Peering into the mist: social learning over an opaque observation network By John Barrdear
  9. The political economy of inclusive rural growth By Michael Carter; John Morrow
  10. Network geometry and the scope of the median voter theorem By Stefano Vannucci
  11. The weaker sex? Gender differences in punishment across Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies By Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
  12. Local government cooperation at work : A control function approach By Zineb Abidi; Edoardo di Porto; Angela Parenti; Sonia Paty
  13. Political Economy of Macroeconomic Policymaking: Economic Crises and Technocratic Governance By Stephen B. Kaplan
  14. On the Timing of Political Regime Changes: Theory and Application to the Arab Spring By Raouf Boucekkine; Fabien Prieur; Klarizze Puzon

  1. By: Antoinette Baujard; Frédéric Gavrel (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Basse-Normandie, 14 000 Caen, France); Herrade Igersheim (CNRS and Beta (UMR CNRS 7522), University of Strasbourg, 67 085 Strasbourg, France); Jean-François Laslier (CNRS and PJSE (UMR CNRS 8545), 75014 Paris, France); Isabelle Lebon (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Basse-Normandie, 14 000 Caen, France)
    Abstract: Under evaluative voting, the voter freely grades each candidate on a numerical scale, with the winning candidate being determined by the sum of the grades they receive. This paper compares evaluative voting with the two-round system, reporting on an experiment, conducted during the 2012 French presidential election, which attracted 2,340 participants. Here we show that the two-round system favors “exclusive” candidates, that is candidates who elicit strong feelings, while evaluative rules favor “inclusive” candidates, that is candidates who attract the support of a large span of the electorate. These differences are explained by two complementary reasons : the opportunity for the voter to support several candidates under evaluative voting rules, and the specific pattern of strategic voting under the two-round voting rule.
    Keywords: Voting, In Situ Experiment, Evaluative Voting, Approval Voting, Two-round system
    JEL: D72 C93
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Lo Prete, Anna; Revelli, Federico (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We study the impact of exogenous variation in Italian municipal elections' voter turnout rates on city performance scores and elected mayors'indicators of valence. First, we build a simple model of voluntary and costly expressive voting, where the relative weight of ideology and valence issues over voting costs determines how people vote, and if they actually turn out to vote. We show that the cost of voting depresses voter turnout, yet can raise the chances of selecting higher valence candidates and thereby improve government performance. Empirically, city performance is measured along a number of dimensions including a unique index of overall urban environmental quality, and mayors'valence is proxied by variables refecting their professional experience and competence. The staggered nature of the municipal election schedule allows us to exploit exogenous variation in voter turnout rates through the 2000s due to the presence of concomitant regional, general and European parliament elections, and to weather conditions (rainfall) on the election day. The results from a number of speciÖcations and quality of policy-making indicators consistently point to a negative impact of voter turnout rates on the performance of cities and the valence of mayors.
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Marek Pycia (UCLA); M. Utku Ünver (Boston College)
    Abstract: Random mechanisms have been used in real-life situations for reasons such as fairness. Voting and matching are two examples of such situations. We investigate whether desirable properties of a random mechanism survive decomposition of the mechanism as a lottery over deterministic mechanisms that also hold such properties. To this end, we represent properties of mechanisms--such as ordinal strategy-proofness or individual rationality--using linear constraints. Using the theory of totally unimodular matrices from combinatorial integer programming, we show that total unimodularity is a sufficient condition for the decomposability of linear constraints on random mechanisms. As two illustrative examples, we show that individual rationality is totally unimodular in general, and that strategy-proofness is totally unimodular in some individual choice models. However, strategy-proofness, unanimity, and feasibility together are not totally unimodular in collective choice environments in general. We thus introduce a direct constructive approach for such problems. Using this approach, we prove that feasibility, strategy-proofness, and unanimity, with and without anonymity, are decomposable on non-dictatorial single-peaked voting domains.
    Keywords: Random mechanisms, ordinal mechanisms, total unimodularity, singlepeaked preferences, voting, individual rationality, strategy-proofness, unanimity, anonymity, generalized median voter rules, universal truthfulness
    JEL: C60 D71 D72
    Date: 2014–09–30
  4. By: L. Deidda; F. Cerina
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between quality of politicians and reward from public office in a game between parties and citizens, in which parties play a crucial role in the selection of candidates. Citizens who wish to become politicians have to become party activists first. Parties produce information about the quality of potential candidates. An increase in the reward from public offices leads to two opposing effects on the average quality of politicians - 1) A selection effect, whereby more skilled citizens enter politics, leading to an increase in average quality; 2) An information manipulation effect such that unskilled activists will have a higher probability to be elected since parties find convenient to increase the degree of costly information manipulation leading to a decrease in average quality. We find that, for a plausible range of parameters values, the information manipulation effect dominates the selection effect when - 1) The cost of manipulating information is low enough; 2) The amount of information that parties can provide at no cost is low enough; 3) The net gains from becoming a politicians for unskilled citizens is sufficiently larger than that for skilled citizens. These findings provide a rational for the ambiguous sign of the empirical correlation (relationship) between quality and pay of politicians.
    Keywords: Selection, Quality of politicians, Public office rewards, Political parties, Information manipulation
    JEL: J33 H70 D72
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Giovanna Iannantuoni; Elena Manzoni
    Abstract: Constitutional structures shape politicians' behaviour and hence policy outcomes through the different incentive schemes at work. In this paper we analyse these mechanisms in parliamentary and presidential systems. Such a comparison is carried over by analysing how the two systems are able to select the efficient policy in presence of asymmetric information. The constitutional structures differ in that the policy proposal in parliamentary democracies is observable and confidence-dependent. The main findings suggest that the parliament responds to the incentive scheme better in presidential systems due to less uncertainty that legislators face over their term limit. However, the parliamentary system induces the executive to behave more efficiently due to selection and disciplining effeects.
    Keywords: presidential system, parliamentary system, confidence vote, hierarchical accountability
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Ovtchinnikov , Alexei; Reza , Syed
    Abstract: Political activism positively affects firm innovation. Firms that support more politicians, politicians on Congressional committees with jurisdictional authority over the firms’ industries and politicians who join those committees innovate more. The authors employ instrumental variables estimation and a natural experiment to show a causal effect of political activism on innovation. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that political activism is valuable because it helps reduce policy uncertainty, which, in turn, fosters firm innovation. Also consistent with this hypothesis, we show that politically active firms successfully time future legislation and set their innovation strategies in expectation of future legislative changes.
    Keywords: political contributions; innovation; investment policy; policy uncertainty
    JEL: D72 D80 G31 G38 O31 O38
    Date: 2014–07–24
  7. By: Michel Grabisch (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Antoine Mandel (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Agnieszka Rusinowska (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Emily Tanimura (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We consider a model of influence with a set of non-strategic agents and two strategic agents. The non-strategic agents have initial opinions and are linked through a simply connected network. They update their opinions as in the DeGroot model. The two strategic agents have fixed opinions, 1 and 0 respectively, and are characterized by the magnitude of the impact they can exert on non-strategic agents. Each strategic agent forms a link with one non-strategic agent in order to alter the average opinion that eventually emerges in the network. This procedure defines a zero-sum game whose players are the two strategic agents and whose strategy set is the set of non-strategic agents. We focus on the existence and the characterization of equilibria in pure strategy in this setting. Simple examples show that the existence of a pure strategy equilibrium does depend on the structure of the network. The characterization of equilibrium we obtain emphasizes on the one hand the influenceability of target agents and on the other hand their centrality whose natural measure in our context defines a new concept, related to betweenness centrality, that we call intermediacy. We also show that in the case where the two strategic agents have the same impact, symmetric equilibria emerge as natural solutions whereas in the case where the impacts are uneven, the strategic players generally have differentiated equilibrium targets, the high-impacts agent focusing on centrality and the low-impact agent on influenceability.
    Keywords: Influence networks, beliefs, DeGroot model, strategic player, convergence, consensus, equilibrium.
    JEL: C71 D85
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: John Barrdear
    Abstract: I present a model of social learning over an exogenous, directed network that may be readily nested within broader macroeconomic models with dispersed information and combines the attributes that agents (a) act repeatedly and simultaneously; (b) are Bayes-rational; and (c) have strategic interaction in their decision rules. To overcome the challenges imposed by these requirements, I suppose that the network is opaque: agents do not know the full structure of the network, but do know the link distribution. I derive a specific law of motion for the hierarchy of aggregate expectations, which includes a role for network shocks (weighted sums of agents’ idiosyncratic shocks). The network causes agents’ beliefs to exhibit increased persistence, so that average expectations overshoot the truth following an aggregate shock. When the network is sufficiently (and plausibly) irregular, transitory idiosyncratic shocks cause persistent aggregate effects, even when agents are identically sized and do not trade.
    Keywords: dispersed information; network learning; heterogeneous agents; aggregate volatility
    JEL: C72 D82 D83 D84
    Date: 2014–06–04
  9. By: Michael Carter; John Morrow
    Abstract: Abstract Commentators on the `East Asian Miracle' of inclusive growth have often pointed toward shared rural growth policies. But why were these policies not chosen elsewhere? This paper models voters who invest in either subsistence or a complex technology in which public goods complement private capital. Investment and technology choices vary with wealth and the level of public goods enforced by political lobbies. Outcomes depend on the strength of the incipient middle class who bolster political incentives through contributions. Economies with a stronger middle class due to lower inequality or lower risk may thereby sustain higher productivity through public good provision.
    Keywords: Poverty traps; political economy; inequality; lobby formation
    JEL: D2 H4 O1 Q1
    Date: 2014–02
  10. By: Stefano Vannucci
    Abstract: It is shown that the median voter theorem for committee-decisions holds over a full unimodal preference domain whenever (i) the underlying median interval space satisfi?es interval antiexchange and (ii) unimodality is defi?ned with respect to the incidence-geometry of the relevant outcome space or network. Thus, in particular, the interval spaces canonically induced by trees do support the median voter theorem on their own full unimodal preference domains. Conversely, validity of the median voter theorem on the full unimodal preference domain of a certain median interval space on a discrete outcome space requires that the graph canonically induced by that interval space be precisely a tree.
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
    Abstract: This paper investigates the hypothesis that women are underrepresented in leadership roles due to a lower ability to influence others. By comparing societies that differ in the inheritance rights of men and women, we trace the origins of such difference. The results of a public good game with third party punishment indicate that in patriarchal societies there are persistent gender differences in social influence while in matrilineal societies these differences are smaller. While in the patriarchal society sanctioning behavior is not different across genders, cooperation is lower in groups with a female monitor than a male monitor. In contrast, in the matrilineal society male monitors sanction more often than female monitors, though cooperation does not depend on the gender of the monitor.
    Keywords: Gender, norm enforcement, culture, inequality, collective action, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, Public Economics, C92, C93, D03, J14, J16,
    Date: 2014–04
  12. By: Zineb Abidi (CREM CNRS and University of Caen Basse Normandie 19 rue Bloch 14032 Caen, France); Edoardo di Porto (University of Naples Federico II Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant'Angelo, Via Cintia, 21, 80126 Napoli, Italia.); Angela Parenti (IMT Institute of Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy); Sonia Paty (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: We analyze voluntary coalition formation using a unique panel data for 1,056 municipalities in the French region of Brittany between 1995 and 2002. We use a control function approach to develop a binary discrete choice model with spatial interactions. We find that a municipality’s decision to cooperate over the provision local public goods depends on the decisions of its neighbours. Comparison with spatial econometrics models (SAR and Durbin) shows that the decision to cooperate is over estimated by these more traditional models. The results are in line with the recent applied spatial economics literature but are derived for a discrete choice model setting.
    Keywords: Inter-municipal cooperation, panel data, control function
    JEL: C3 H2 H4 H7
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Stephen B. Kaplan (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)
    Abstract: How do economic crisis a§ect national-level policy choices? Are technocratic advisors more likely to enter government during periods of severe economic volatility? If so, how does such governance a§ect economic policymaking and social responsiveness? In this paper, I evaluate the role of technocratic advisors on Latin American reforms. Building on the political psy- chology literature, I argue that collective crisis memories in technocratic communities have a disproportionate inaÌuence on elite-level policymaking. Employing an originally constructed data index, the Index of Economic Advisors, I conduct a large-N cross-national test from 1960-2011 to examine whether economic crises lead to more technocrats serving in presidential cabinets, and Önd that crises often professionalize presidential teams. The statistical results also show that technocratsiÌgovernance approaches are conditioned by the nature of past shocks. An in- aÌationary crisis history makes budget austerity more likely. DeaÌationary spirals have been far less common in Latin America, but comparative case study evidence of Argentina in the early 2000s shows that these shocks often catalyze sustained Öscal expansion. This investigation has signiÖcant implications for the study of democracy and development. Technocratic governance might help provide economic stability following crises, but an enduring political focus on past crises can limit policy aÌexibility and social responsiveness.
    Keywords: Political Economy, Development, Austerity, Latin America, Economic Crises, Political Psychology, Technocrats, Fiscal Policy, Macroeconomic Policy
    JEL: B22 E31 E60 E62 E65 H30 H60 N16 O54 O57
  14. By: Raouf Boucekkine (Aix-Marseille University); Fabien Prieur (University of Montpellier I and INRA); Klarizze Puzon (University of Montpellier I)
    Abstract: We develop a continuous time dynamic game to provide with a benchmark theory of Arab Spring-type events. We consider a resource-dependent economy with two interacting groups, the elite vs. the citizens, and two political regimes, dictatorship vs. a freer regime. Transition to the freer regime can only be achieved if citizens decide to revolt given the concession/repression policy of the elite. Departing from the related literature, the revolution optimal timing is an explicit control variable in the hands of citizens. The elite is the strategic leader: she ultimately chooses her policy knowing the reaction function of citizens. In this framework, we provide with a full equilibrium analysis of the political regime switching game and notably emphasize the role of the direct switching cost of the citizens and of the elite's self-preservation options. In particular, we show how the incorporation of explicit revolution timing may change the conventional wisdom in the related institutional change literature. Finally, we emphasize how the theory may help explaining some key features of the Arab Spring.
    Keywords: Political Transitions, Revolution, Natural Resources, Optimal Timing, Regime Switching, Dynamic Game
    JEL: C61 D74 Q34
    Date: 2014–12

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