nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒02‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The role of non-voting in shifts in support for Italian political parties (2006-2008) By Luana Russo
  2. The Welfare State and Migration: A Dynamic Analysis of Political Coalitions By Razin, Assaf ; Sadka, Efraim ; Suwankiri, Benjarong
  3. Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power By Bouton, Laurent ; Llorente-Saguer, Aniol ; Malherbe, Frédéric
  4. Voting behaviour and public employment in Nazi Germany By Stephan E. Maurer
  5. Optimal Mechanisms for the Control of Fiscal Deficits By Grüner, Hans Peter
  6. Decentralization, Vertical Fiscal Imbalance, and Political Selection By Massimo Bordignon ; Matteo Gamalerio ; Gilberto Turati
  7. Politics and investment: Examining the territorial allocation of public investment in Greece By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose ; Yannis Psycharis ; Vassilis Tselios
  8. Inconsistent voting behavior in the FOMC By Lähner, Tom
  9. Issue-salience, Issue-divisiveness and Voting Decisions By Stephen Ansolabehere ; M. Socorro Puy
  10. The Role of Top-Level Key Actors in STI Decision-making in China By SHI, Dinghuan
  11. Stable partitions for games with non-transferable utilities and externalities By Dominik Karos
  12. The allocation of transport infrastructure in Swedish municipalities: welfare maximization, political economy or both? By Jussila Hammes , Johanna ; Nilsson, Jan-Eric

  1. By: Luana Russo
    Abstract: The 2008 Italian Parliamentary Elections showed the highest abstention rate in Italianhistory (19.5%) up until that moment (a new record was set in 2013). Even though thisabstention rate might seem quite low in comparison with some other Western democracies,it has been steadily increasing over time. Furthermore, recent research shows that theintermittent non-vote is increasing as well. The voter?s individual decision on whether or notto vote depends on the circumstances at each election, taking into consideration the type ofelection, the quality of the candidates, and so forth. By employing an ecological inferencemethod on the Italian aggregate data, this paper assesses what happened in terms ofelectoral realignment and differential abstention. It also aims to find out which parties arenow gaining or losing support from non-voters in the 2008 Parliamentary Italian elections.
    Date: 2014–12–01
  2. By: Razin, Assaf ; Sadka, Efraim ; Suwankiri, Benjarong
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic political-economic theory of welfare state and immigration policies, featuring three distinct voting groups: skilled workers, unskilled workers, and old retirees. The essence of inter - and intra-generational redistribution of a typical welfare system is captured with a proportional tax on labor income to finance a transfer in a balanced-budget manner. We provide an analytical characterization of political-economic equilibrium policy rules consisting of the tax rate, the skill composition of migrants, and the total number of migrants. When none of these groups enjoy a majority (50 percent of the voters or more), political coalitions will form. With overlapping generations and policy-determined influx of immigrants, the formation of the political coalitions changes over time. These future changes are taken into account when policies are shaped. Naturally, a lower rate of population growth (that is, an aging population) increases the political clout of the old (the left group). But it also increases the burden on the young (particularly, the skilled).
    Keywords: center; dynamics of left and right coalitions; intra- and inter-generational transfers
    JEL: E10 F15 H10
    Date: 2015–02
  3. By: Bouton, Laurent ; Llorente-Saguer, Aniol ; Malherbe, Frédéric
    Abstract: Consider a group of agents whose goal is to reform the status quo if and only if this is Pareto improving. Agents have private information and may have common or private objectives, which creates a tension between information aggregation and minority protection. We propose a simple voting system -majority rule with veto power- that essentially resolves this tension, for it combines the advantageous properties of both majority and unanimity rules. We argue that our results shed new light on the evolution of voting rules in EU institutions and could guide policy reforms in cases such as juries in the US.
    Keywords: constructive abstention; information aggregation; Pareto criterion; unanimity rule; veto power
    JEL: D70
    Date: 2015–02
  4. By: Stephan E. Maurer
    Abstract: This paper analyses whether the German National Socialists used economic policies to reward their voters after their rise to power in 1933. Using data on public employment in the armed forces, public administrations and related professions from the German occupational censuses in 1925, 1933 and 1939 and addressing the potential endogeneity of the National Socialist vote share in 1933 by way of an instrumental variables strategy based on a similar party in Imperial Germany 1912, I find that cities with higher National Socialist vote shares experienced a relative increase in public employment: for every additional percentage point in the vote share, the number of public employment jobs increased by around 3.5 percent. When measured relative to the total population, a one standard-deviation increase in the 1933 vote share led to an increase in the share of public employment of a quarter of a standard deviation.
    Keywords: political connections; public employment; political economy; Nazi regime
    JEL: D72 D73 N44 N94
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Grüner, Hans Peter
    Abstract: This paper shows that a simple two-stage voting mechanism may implement a constrained optimal state dependent decision about the size of the fiscal deficit. I consider a setup with strategic fiscal deficits à la Tabellini and Alesina (1990). Three groups of voters are informed about the productivity of current public spending. Voters differ in their preferences for public goods and swing voters' preferences may change over time. The current government decides on the current spending mix and it has an incentive to strategically overspend. Under certain conditions, a simple two-stage mechanism in which a deficit requires the approval by a supermajority in parliament implements a constrained optimal decision. When the current majority is small, political bargaining may further increase social welfare. However, when the current majority is large, a supermajority mechanism with bargaining leads to a biased spending mix and reduces welfare whereas the laissez faire mechanism may yield the first best. An appropriately adjusted majority threshold can deal with this problem.
    Keywords: constitutional choice; fiscal policy rules; mechanism design
    JEL: D82 H62
    Date: 2015–02
  6. By: Massimo Bordignon (Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore ); Matteo Gamalerio (University of Warwick ); Gilberto Turati (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche, Università di Torino )
    Abstract: In a career-concern model of politics with endogenous candidacy and different types of politicians, following a decentralization reform, politicians with different skills are elected in municipalities characterized by different levels of autonomous resources. As an effect, consumer welfare increases only, or mainly, in richer municipalities. We test these predictions by exploiting the differentiated reduction in Vertical Fiscal Imbalance in Italian municipalities, due to the strong difference in the tax base, following the decentralization reforms of the '90s. Results strongly support our predictions and are robust to several alternative stories.
    Keywords: decentralization, vertical fiscal imbalance, quality of politicians
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose ; Yannis Psycharis ; Vassilis Tselios
    Abstract: This paper discusses how electoral politics shapes the regional allocation of public investment expenditures per capita in Greece. Using regional public investment data for 10 political periods (1975-2009), combined with electoral data by constituency, a model is proposed which captures the influence of politics on the regional distribution of public investment expenditures. The results of the analysis point to a strong relationship between electoral results and regional public investment spending. Greek governing parties have tended to reward those constituencies returning them to office. Moreover, an increase in both the absolute and relative electoral returns of the governing party in a region has traditionally been followed by greater public investment per capita in that region. Regions where the governing party (whether Liberal or Socialist) has held a monopoly of seats have been the greatest beneficiaries of this type of pork-barrel politics.
    Keywords: public investment, elections, pork-barrel politics, political geography, Greece
    JEL: H77 H50 R12 R58 Z18
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Lähner, Tom
    Abstract: This paper examines determinants of inconsistent voting behavior in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Inconsistent voting behavior is defined as a changing preference on the preferred interest rate voiced in the policy go-around relative to the interest rate preference cast in the formal voting. It is hypothesized that the change in transparency in 1993 as well as individual characteristics of FOMC members may play a significant role in inconsistent voting behavior. Using FOMC voting data extracted from verbatim transcripts from 1989 until 2008 results can be summarized as follows: The regime shift in transparency has a significant impact on the probability of casting inconsistent votes. After 1993, the probability of casting inconsistent votes decreases significantly, on average by 3.3%. FOMC members with longer tenure on the committee have a lower probability of casting inconsistent votes. Further results suggest that Board members and bank presidents differ significantly, with bank presidents casting inconsistent votes more often than Board members do. This relation holds true for gender as well, with female members casting more inconsistent votes than males. In addition, political aspects and career backgrounds also contribute to explaining inconsistent voting behavior in the FOMC. Conditional effects reveal that after the change in transparency differences between Board members and bank presidents remain, whereas differences between male and female members have diminished. Further results suggest that FOMC members with a career in the government sector have been strongly affected by the regime shift in transparency.
    Keywords: FOMC; transcript data, inconsistent voting; logit estimations
    JEL: E43 E52 E58
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Stephen Ansolabehere (Government Department, Harvard University ); M. Socorro Puy (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de Málaga )
    Abstract: We present a framework to analyze the relative importance of issues for the electorate. We distinguish two concepts -- issue salience and issue divisiveness -- and present those in the context of the multidimensional spatial model. Issue salience, which is widely studied in empirical and theoretical models, is the weight of one issue over another in a typical voter's utility function. Issue divisiveness is the differentiation between the issues, which depends on the positions or alignments of competing parties and candidates on each issue. We show that empirical research commonly conflates salience and divisiveness, as the regression coefficient in a multiple regression of vote choice on issues reflects both, the weight or salience of each issue and the distinctiveness of the two parties on each issue. We analyze the example of regional elections in the Basque province of Spain to demonstrate the mechanics and value of the approach developed. The politics of this region provide a good instance where debate over the importance of ideology and nationalism conflates salience and divisiveness.
    Keywords: Issue-Silence; Issue-Divisiveness; Positional Issues; Basque Elections
    Date: 2015–01
  10. By: SHI, Dinghuan
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, China, science and technology, leadership, decision hierarchy, MLP
    Date: 2013–12–01
  11. By: Dominik Karos
    Abstract: We provide a model of coalitional bargaining with claims in order to solve games with non-transferable utilities and externalities.  We show that, for each such game, payoff configurations exist which will not be renegoiated.  In the original game derived from these payoff configurations, we can find a partition in which no group of players has an incentive to jointly change their coalitions.  For games without externalities this partition and the corrresponding payoffs constitute a strong Nash equilirium in a strategic form game with complete information.  We use our model to provide a common framework for a variety of solutions for cooperative games, bargaining problems and bankruptcy problems.
    Keywords: Games with non-transferable utilities in partition function form, Bargaining with claims, Ordinal games, Core stable partitions, Non-cooperative coalition formation
    JEL: C71 C78 G34
    Date: 2015–02–20
  12. By: Jussila Hammes , Johanna (VTI ); Nilsson, Jan-Eric (VTI )
    Abstract: The choice of transport infrastructure projects to include in the National Transport Infrastructure Plans in Sweden is often said to be motivated by the weighing of cost against social benefits. Examining the projects that are included in the Plans, it is clear, however, that not all projects have positive net present values, and are therefore more costly to build than the benefits they create. This paper studies alternative models that might explain the choice of projects. Two political economy models, the district demand and the swing voter with lobbying, are tested, and a model that accounts for the spatial distribution of the projects, as well as the possibility that priorities are based on welfare concerns, is estimated. No support is found for the political economy models. What explains investment volume is the existence of CBA results for a project, which may indicate that welfare benefits have an impact, as do the spatial spillovers from a project’s benefits and lobbying, especially by the municipalities concerned.
    Keywords: Distributive politics; Fiscal federalism; Lobbying; Party competition; Political economy; Transport infrastructure; Spatial analysis; Sweden
    JEL: D60 D72 D78 R42
    Date: 2015–02–20

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