nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Political Party Representation and Electoral Politics in England and Wales, 1690-1747 By Dan Bogart
  2. Political Bias in Court? Lay Judges and Asylum Appeals By Martén, Linna
  3. How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment By Fehrler, Sebastian; Hughes, Niall
  4. Two-candidate competition with endogenous valence: a differential game approach By Köppl Turyna, Monika
  5. Politics in the Courtroom: Political Ideology and Jury Decision Making By Anwar, Shamena; Bayer, Patrick; Hjalmarsson, Randi
  6. Mean-median compromise method as an innovating voting rule in social choice theory By Ngoie, Ruffin-Benoît M.; Ulungu, Berthold E.-L.
  7. The effects of fiscal autonomy on the size of public sector and the strength of political budget cycles in local expenditure By Köppl Turyna, Monika; Kula, Grzegorz; Balmas, Agata; Waclawska, Kamila
  8. Efficient voting with penalties By Kwiek, Maksymilian
  9. Grading Hampers Cooperative Information Sharing in Group Problem Solving By Anne-Sophie Hayek; Claudia Toma; Dominique Oberlé; Fabrizio Butera

  1. By: Dan Bogart (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: The Whig and Tory parties played an important role in British politics in the decades following the Glorious Revolution. This paper introduces new data on the political affiliation of all MPs in England and Wales between 1690 and 1747. The data have numerous applications for research. The focus here is on majority party representation and the electoral politics of constituencies. I show that the Whigs had stronger representation in municipal boroughs with small and narrow electorates, whereas the Tories were stronger in county constituencies and in boroughs with large and more democratic electorates. The Whigs were stronger in the Southeast region and the Tories in Wales and the West Midlands. After the Whig leader, Robert Walpole, became prime minister in 1721 the Whigs lost some presence in their traditional strongholds including counties where the Dissenter population was large. Finally, I incorporate data on electoral contests and show that the majority party generally lost strength in constituencies following contests.
    Keywords: Political parties; Whigs; Tories; Rage of Party; Walpole; Glorious Revolution
    JEL: N43 P16 D72
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Martén, Linna (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Several countries practice a system where laymen, who lack legal education, participate in the judicial decision making. Yet, little is known about their potential influence on the court rulings. In Sweden lay judges (namndeman) are affiliated with the political parties and appointed in proportion to political party representation in the last local elections. This paper investigates the influence of their partisan belonging when ruling in asylum appeals in the Migration Courts, where laymen are effectively randomly assigned to cases. The results show that the approval rate is affected by the policy position of the laymen's political parties. In particular, asylum appeals are more likely to be rejected when laymen from the anti-immigrant party the Swedish Democrats participate, and less likely to be rejected when laymen from the Left Party, the Christian Democrats or the Green Party participate. This indicates that asylum seekers do not receive an impartial trial, and raises concerns that laymen in the courts can compromise the legal security in general.
    Keywords: Political attitudes; Decision making; Court; Immigration; Legal system
    JEL: D72 D79 K10 K40
    Date: 2015–05–05
  3. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Konstanz); Hughes, Niall (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We investigate the potential of transparency to influence committee decision-making. We present a model in which career concerned committee members receive private information of different type-dependent accuracy, deliberate and vote. We study three levels of transparency under which career concerns are predicted to affect behavior differently, and test the model's key predictions in a laboratory experiment. The model's predictions are largely borne out – transparency negatively affects information aggregation at the deliberation and voting stages, leading to sharply different committee error rates than under secrecy. This occurs despite subjects revealing more information under transparency than theory predicts.
    Keywords: committee decision-making, deliberation, transparency, career concerns, information aggregation, experiments, voting, strategic communication
    JEL: C92 D71 D83
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Köppl Turyna, Monika
    Abstract: We propose a differential game approach to analyze two--candidate competition in a la Hotelling game with candidates simultaneously choosing locations and investment in valence. We find a Markov perfect equilibrium in which candidates choose divergent locations. Divergence from the median is increasing if the parameter measuring the importance of policy relative to valence is decreasing and if valence depreciates slowly. The results are generalizable to a version of the game with probabilistic voting, that is with a stochastic state equation.
    Keywords: differential game, two--candidate competition, valence
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2014–05–01
  5. By: Anwar, Shamena; Bayer, Patrick; Hjalmarsson, Randi
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Gothenburg District Court in Sweden and a research design that exploits the random assignment of politically appointed jurors (termed nämndemän) to make three contributions to the literature on jury decision-making: (i) an assessment of whether systematic biases exist in the Swedish nämndemän system, (ii) causal evidence on the impact of juror political party on verdicts, and (iii) an empirical examination of the role of peer effects in jury decision-making. The results reveal a number of systematic biases: convictions for young defendants and those with distinctly Arabic sounding names increase substantially when they are randomly assigned jurors from the far-right (nationalist) Swedish Democrat party, while convictions in cases with a female victim increase markedly when they are assigned jurors from the far-left (feminist) Vänster party. The results also indicate the presence of peer effects, with jurors from both the far-left and far-right parties drawing the votes of their more centrist peers towards their positions. Peer effects take the form of both sway effects, where jurors influence the opinions of their closest peers in a way that can impact trial outcomes, and dissent aversion, where jurors switch non-pivotal votes so that the decision is unanimous.
    Keywords: crime; jury; peer effects; politics
    JEL: K4
    Date: 2015–05
  6. By: Ngoie, Ruffin-Benoît M.; Ulungu, Berthold E.-L.
    Abstract: This paper aims at presenting a new voting function which is obtained in Balinski-Laraki's framework and benefits mean and median advantages. The so-called Mean-Median Comprise Method (MMCM) has fulfilled criteria such as unanimity, neutrality, anonymity, monotonicity, and Arrow's independence of irrelevant alternatives. It also generalizes approval voting system.
    Keywords: Aggregation, Approval Voting, Borda Majority Count, Majority Judgment, Social Choice Function.
    JEL: B16 C10 C65 C70 C73 D71 D72
    Date: 2014–12–19
  7. By: Köppl Turyna, Monika; Kula, Grzegorz; Balmas, Agata; Waclawska, Kamila
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of political business cycles and fiscal autonomy on the expenditure categories of Polish municipalities. Using System GMM technique, we find convincing evidence for strong political business cycles in almost all expenditure categories, and in particular for the categories of expenditure relevant for electoral success such as infrastructure and social expenditure. Transfers to municipalities from the central government accentuate the strength of the electoral cycles, but surprisingly are associated with lower expenditure levels outside of the election periods. The latter results are the main finding: fiscal autonomy although not necessarily reducing the levels of local expenditure, does reduce the level of political manipulation of the budgets.
    Keywords: local expenditure, political business cycles, fiscal autonomy, decentralization
    JEL: D72 H72 H75 H77
    Date: 2015–03–01
  8. By: Kwiek, Maksymilian
    Abstract: Simple majority does not reflect the intensity of voters’ preferences. This paper presents an efficient collective choice mechanism when the choice is binary and the designer may use non-trasferable punishments to persuade agents to reveal their private information. The designer faces a dilemma – a punishment may induce a more correct choice, but its cost is socially wasteful. The efficient mechanism is a weighted majority. Weight of each individual is known ex ante and no punishments applied if preferences are relatively homogenous. Eliciting types through punishments in order to construct type-specific weights should occur if preference intensity is relatively heterogeneous, or if voters preferences represent a larger population.
    Date: 2014–01–01
  9. By: Anne-Sophie Hayek; Claudia Toma; Dominique Oberlé; Fabrizio Butera
    Abstract: We hypothesized that individual grading in group work, a widespread practice, hampers information sharing in cooperative problem solving. Experiment 1 showed that a condition in which members’ individual contribution was expected to be visible and graded, as in most graded work, led to less pooling of relevant, unshared information and more pooling of less-relevant, shared information than two control conditions where individual contribution was not graded, but either visible or not. Experiment 2 conceptually replicated this effect: Group members primed with grades pooled less of their unshared information, but more of their shared information, compared to group members primed with neutral concepts. Thus, grading can hinder cooperative work and impair information sharing in groups.
    Keywords: information sharing; grades; hidden profiles; cooperation; mixed-motives
    Date: 2015–05–06

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